Saturday 19 September 2009

Save the Indy!

The Save The Observer campaign has succeeded. This is very welcome news. I suspect the issue was always more about whether and how the paper could retain its independence and distinctive voice, though I have no idea whether or how far the spectre of closure was being consciously mooted to make future budget or staff cuts more palatable. It would have been an act of cultural vandalism for Guardian Media Group to close a Sunday newspaper with a circulation over 400,000 by turning it into a midweek news magazine.

In these enormously turbulent times for newspapers in search of a viable economic model, the threat of closure once again looms largest over The Independent, dramatised by a warning from the group's major (rebel) shareholder Denis O'Brien who has now predicted (warned? threatened?) that the group's flagship title could be closed by Christmas - offering the highly unhelpful salvo that ""It's not a relevant newspaper anymore and this newspaper's going to be closed by Christmas" on Bloomberg TV.

O'Brien has long been at odds with the Independent News and Media Board over the paper's debt financing strategy. So this is all part of a very complicated and byzantine ongoing internal power struggle within the board and group. Given that this is a very different case from The Guardian and Observer which are overseen by the Scott Trust, I do not know what form a pro-Indy campaign might usefully take.

But O'Brien is wrong about the newspaper's relevance and contribution to our media pluralism.

So we do need a new campaign to #savetheindy.

A twitter hashtag is up and running, and can be used to promote other activities and efforts.

But I got the campaign off to a very low-key but perhaps effective start just before nine o'clock this morning when I went up the road to the newsagent and handed over £1.60 for today's Independent.

Why don't you do the same?

The Independent masthead heavily promotes a one pound a week four week trial subscription - which you can find at


Guido Fawkes said...

I outlined a strategy to save the Indy some time ago.

It should go Cameroon in its editorial line. That is the only gao in the market. Dacre's Mail is sceptical of Cameron from the right, the more heterodox Telegraph is sceptical from all points on the political spectrum with few fans.

The gap in the market is for a light blue liberal conservative cheerleader.

Cameroons find the Mail, Express and Telegraph embarrassing.

Nina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sunder Katwala said...


Thanks. Interesting post.

Perhaps there is something in that analysis of a gap in the market. But, before the Indy bet the ranch on it, how large do we think it is?

After all, insider estimates of the global number of Cameroons seem to range between half a dozen, ten, and twenty-two.