View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. Media Business
February 12, 2016

NUJ accuses Lebedevs of ‘contempt’ for journalists after closing Indy print titles following ‘closed doors’ deal

By Dominic Ponsford

The National Union of Journalists has accused the Lebedevs of "moral bankruptcy" for closing the print edition of The Independent without consultation or seeking alternative ways to secure its future.

Today, ESI Media owner Evgeny Lebedev said the print editions of The Independent and Independent on Sunday will close after the sale of the i newspaper to Johnston Press for £24m.

He said in a statement: "We will be the first of many leading newspapers to embrace a wholly digital future."

While some journalists will remain on, and some will transfer over to Johnston Press, Lebedev said there will be redundancies.

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: "Today’s announcement realises the worst fears of staff on The Independent and Independent on Sunday. To close these historic titles overnight after a deal clinched behind closed doors, without any consultation or attempts to engage with staff, demonstrates the contempt the company has for its workforce.

"For Evgeny Lebedev to laud  closures that will see staff lose their livelihoods as an ‘historic transition’ is an added indignity. The fact that our national newspapers can be shut down overnight with no scrutiny and no ability for their future to be secured through other means, underlines the moral bankruptcy of newspaper ownership in the UK. That needs to be urgently addressed. The NUJ will do all it can to support all members affected."

NUJ national organiser Laura Davison said: "The closure of the Independent titles is a massive blow to the industry. Experienced staff who have been committed to the idea and ideals of the titles, in some cases for decades, are facing losing their jobs in shocking circumstances.

Content from our partners
Cannes Lions: The world's best creativity all in one place
L'Equipe signs content syndication deal with The Content Exchange
Journalism can be relentless: But overworking could be fatal

"The public has been robbed of titles whose loss leaves press plurality, opinion and ownership narrowed and diminished. The way staff have had to learn about what's happening through the pages of other papers is simply appalling. We are calling on the company to enter into urgent talks with the NUJ, to meet their legal obligations and to treat their staff with humanity."

The NUJ has sent a letter to Steve Auckland, chief executive of the Independent and Evening Standard, demanding talks. The NUJ chapel will be meeting on Monday.

Topics in this article : , , ,

Email to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network