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NUJ shocked and saddened by closure of Cornwall's Sunday Independent

5 April 2017

The NUJ said it was shocked and saddened to hear the news that the Sunday Independent, which covered south west England, is to close with the loss of 20 jobs.

According to a report in Hold the Front Page, staff were told this morning that the Liskeard-based newspaper had ceased trading. It was founded in 1808 and changed hands from Newsquest to Tindle Newspaper Group in 2004. Brian Doel, who died last August, took over in 2014 after acquiring a 51 per cent stake in the title from Tindle.

Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, said:

"This is really shocking and sad news. It appears the 20 staff who are to lose their jobs were told only today, after putting out Sunday's edition. This adds to the tally of nine UK regional newspapers which have closed newspapers between November 2015 and March 2017 and highlighted in research commissioned by the union for Local News Matters Week. It will be tragic for the readers, especially the sports fans, in the south west to lose their newspaper.
"Yet another newspaper closure strengths the NUJ's case for holding a national inquiry into local news provision in the UK and also for our call for newspapers to have the status of community assets, with new rules to prevent local media outlets from closing overnight, so they can be offered to potential new owners, including local co-operatives."

John Collings, editor since 1988, said: “Last Sunday’s Indy was the last one. That is, unless somebody comes over the horizon on a white horse.”  He told the Devon Live website that conditions had been difficult for some time in the local press and added: “I don’t think we saw this coming. It’s a small staff of about 20 people. They all worked so hard, and we were actually trading well. It needs some investment and financial TLC. Without that, we just couldn’t go on.”

Support the Local News Matters campaign by signing and sharing the NUJ and TUC public pledge calling for investment in quality local journalism and for the UK government to launch a public inquiry to examine the local media crisis.

Tags: , local newspapers, local news matters, sunday independent, cornwall, south west, closure, job losses, devon