British newspaper The Independent has announced that it would be discontinuing its printed version in March this year and will only appear in digital form in future.
The newspaper’s parent company, ESI Media, reported that the last edition was to be printed on 26 March. The last paper edition of Independent on Sunday will appear on 20 March. The Independent is thus the first national daily paper in the UK to only appear in digital form, ESI Media said.
The group added that the newspaper has recently been registering heavy growth in its online readership. The newspaper’s website is profitable and its sales revenue is expected to double this year. 25 new jobs are also being created for digital content, the group announced, but jobs are to be cut in the newspaper’s editorial office. Insiders believe a large proportion of the paper’s 150 or so jobs could go.
The left-wing liberal Independent was only created in 1986 and reached a circulation of roughly 400,000 copies in its heyday. Circulation was last put at approximately 55,000 copies. Paper market insiders estimate that the end of the printed version will cost the UK paper market 7,000-9,000 t of newsprint per year, roughly a fifth of which could be accounted for by improved grades.