Strike Confirmed at the Indy

It’s official: strike action will go ahead at the Indy over editorial cuts.

Bosses won’t be too worried though – the action is planned for two hours on Friday afternoon.

Just enough time for a three bottle lunch…

Indy’s Comic NUJ Email Sans Compromise

The Indy HR department’s discussions with the NUJ aren’t going too well then. They now anticipate compulsory redundancies in “single figures” rather than the 27 previously feared, though they say the NUJ’s strike action makes it clear that they have “exhausted all options” and “through exhaustive discussions already it is clear that no extension of consultation will change this”. They add “our responsibility is to the staff and the newspaper and it is absolutely critical that we do not mislead anyone”. A message one insider suggests would come across better if it were not written in Comic Sans…

Indy Union Calls for Strike Over Redundancies

“The Chapel moves to ballot for industrial action up to, and including a strike”…

Indy Editor’s Email to Staff

As you all know, every company in our industry is being hit by two forces.

One is a recession which has hit advertising hard. The other is the growth of digital media.

All of you are aware too, that for the past three and more years, the Lebedev family has poured many tens of millions into their newspapers.

While we continue to enjoy their support, we must do what we can to save money and to make our business ever more efficient.

Unfortunately, this means that we must lose more jobs at Independent Print Limited. We envisage this will be 27, including regular casual workers.

On this occasion, these will be compulsory, on the current redundancy terms.

Other areas of our business are expanding.

On independent.co.uk, we will be adding 9 new positions, rising to 20 within 6 months. On London Live, our new TV station, we will be creating 60 jobs over the coming year.

It is possible that some of those leaving us may be able to switch to the website or TV channel. I must stress, though, that this number is likely to be small because of the different skill-sets they require.

Last Friday, I presented a proposal to the Board of Independent Print Limited, outlining how I believe, with these cuts, The Independent can be sustained in print form.

We will be producing a new-look Independent. It will be redesigned to make more of our strengths in analysis, commentary and longer reads. It will be very different from i and will be unique in the UK newspaper marketplace.

Together with The Independent on Sunday and i-paper, we will still report news, of course, and break exclusive stories – as we have done repeatedly in the past fortnight alone.

But across Home and Foreign News, as well as Business, Sport, Arts and Features, our focus will shift.

It is important to state that the Board of Independent Print Limited, and the Lebedev family, strongly support my proposal for the new-look paper.

They recognise that The Independent and Independent on Sunday have successfully merged to create a 7-day operation.

They recognise that The Independent is our flagship title, hugely respected both at home and abroad.

They recognise that it feeds both the i newspaper and independent.co.uk

But they also have a stark financial reality to consider.

I personally understand how painful the threat of redundancy can be.

Those at risk of redundancy will be contacted this afternoon. I hope that the process we are embarking on can be completed as soon as possible.

There is a real and purposeful future for all the Independent titles, but only if they operate within the budget which the Board of Independent Print Limited has provided.

We talked about taking questions at this point, but out of respect for those affected we will be contacting them first.

Anyone else who has questions please come to see me, Chris, Sean or Doug in our offices this afternoon.

Thank you.

Unfortunate Indy Picture Choice

Just what was the Indy picture desk trying to say about Stephanie Flanders with their choice of picture to accompany the story about her dating both Ed Balls and  Ed Miliband, eh?

27 Further Redundancies at Indy

The cull was always coming at the loss-making Independent, now Guido hears 27 members of the team will lose their jobs. Guido’s source optimistically warns: “this is the end”.

Quite…

Indy Splash Scooped By the Indy

“Education for sale: Gove plans to let firms run schools for profit” bleats today’s Indy mega exclusive splash, citing a leaked memo giving the inside line on DfE policy:

“A memo prepared for Mr Gove by senior DfE staff last October revealed that expansion of the academies and free schools programme would “not reach much beyond 5,000 [schools]” unless additional central resources were found. The Education Secretary was urged to begin planning a “fundamental shift” in academies’ status before the 2015 election.”

Just the one problem: the Indy were unfortunately scooped on their “exclusive”… by the Independent on Sunday six months ago. Headlined “Secret memo shows Michael Gove’s plan for privatisation of academies”, the old Sindy story clearly came from the same leaked memo:

“The minutes, seen by The Independent on Sunday, state: “it is difficult to see how we could manage expansion of the academies and free schools programme much beyond 5,000 without increasing central resource.””

Another roaring success for the new editor…

New Indy Editor’s First World Exclusive

A great first week for the new Indy editor Amol Rajan. Last night the paper scooped the world with the first picture of Edward Snowden arriving at Moscow airport and using the shuttle train transfer between terminals. The exclusive was set to remain just that though: it clearly was not the wanted man. A new edition was quickly rushed out but the damage was done. Who was the picture editor, Piers Morgan?

WATCH: Future Indy Editor’s Awkward TV Debut

Amol Rajan the unfortunate man holding the mic on Channel 5’s Wright Stuff a few years back. In fairness he was a good sport about it:

“Camera 4, the one that gets right up in your face – my face

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Amol Rajan New Indy Editor

A big promotion for the man previously in charge of Indy Voices, the paper’s online blog. Another young appointment to a high position. Chris Blackhurst becomes “group content director”. According to the Guardian he has been in “Lebedev’s inner […]

+ READ MORE +

Lisa Markwell New Sindy Editor

Indy executive editor Lisa Markwell replaces John Mullin as editor of the Sindy.

Another female editor at a Lebedev paper, as Evgeny has been quick to stress…[…]

+ READ MORE +

The Indy Pol Ed, UKIP and the Six Year Old Guardian Quote

Fascinating insight from the Indy’s political editor Andy Grice on Thursday last week:

“The wildcard on May 2 could be the UK Independence Party. The anti-EU party is consistently in double figures in the opinion polls and is fielding

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

FT leader on Labour’s “Jewish problem”:

“If Mr Corbyn had serious aspirations to leadership he would tackle this problem head-on. Instead it falls to Labour’s moderates to ask themselves how long they will tolerate this state of affairs. Edmund Burke wrote that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. Labour’s inaction over anti-Semitism is a stigma that must now be erased by the good people in its ranks.”

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