Thursday, 13 October 2016

Independent sigtheendht (3, 3, 2, 2, 5)

I bought the first print edition of The Independent, my copy of which I hope has survived storage. I have the last print edition. I subscribed to the online edition when it was first on offer, hoping that this bold experiment would enable the Indy's special journalism to continue. But instead of maintaining the paper's standards, the move seems to have accelerated the cuts which were already visible.

The first major blow was the loss of the Obituaries section, which was once a USP. (It is still not clear what has happened to the obituary library. Has it been parcelled up and sold off, as happened to the unique photo library when Mirror Group briefly became a major shareholder in the 1990s?) There followed a series of contributors and features dropping off, not big things in themselves but cumulatively impoverishing the journal. There is now a great disparity between the detailed coverage of the Middle East and of the rest of the world which practically comprises no more than summaries of agency despatches.

What has finally decided me to give up my online subscription is the dismissal of John Lichfield, someone who explained the French to the Brits better than most and who was great at picking up significant stories which escaped the other media. Patrick Cockburn, Robert Fisk, James Moore and Kim Sengupta are still there, but I can get at their writing by other means.

For those who wish to follow me out of the door, go to You will need the email address and password you provided when subscribing in the first place.

The title of this post was inspired by the fact that the Inquisitor crossword is no longer in the Indy, but does now appear in the Saturday i.

No comments: