Last weekend saw the end of an era. The Independent on Sunday saw its last print run after 26 years. This weekend saw the Independent stop their presses and move online after 30 years of printing. Over the years newspapers have come and gone. News of the World saw a similar fate back in 2011, after a phone hacking scandal.
When it comes to news, over the past few years, the new media has been at the forefront; being able to supply current news stories as soon as it happens. When it comes to print the stories can effectively become out of date as soon as they are printed. It could be debated, are newspapers really needed as the readership declines?
I remember looking at similar issues in my sixth form media studies coursework back in 2011. The debate has been going for longer than that, as the internet has taken on the role of the newspaper. The opportunity for the the reader to get the news quickly and in bitesize chunks has allowed the internet to really thrive. With 24 hour news channels, smartphones and apps, the availability of news has definitely changed with the increase of these outlets. The chance to pick up the current news has allowed people to access their news for free.
I’m personally torn between the two. If I look at how I find my news I go to social media and newspaper websites to see the latest stories. But also happily welcome the chance to sit and look through a newspaper. The diversity of a newspaper can cater for so many different people, from current affairs to sport.
The final copy of the The Independent included a few special souvenirs, with the history of the photography; a cultural supplement and a special souvenir supplement with us being able to explore its history; the reasons why it has moved and how it will be in the future. As the final print edition it charts how they have changed, but also give insight to the thinking behind why they have made the decision to cease printing and go to digital media.
This page from the souvenir charts how things have change in the history of The Independent.
The Independent on Sunday
Even to the end the designers have been able to hold their wit, with the front page mast head highlighting the words ‘THE END’ within for The Independent on Sunday. I found this was a really interesting way to get people to see the newspaper still thinking about the way it looks. The Supplement celebrates some of the best cultural articles of the Sunday edition.
It’s very interesting that as the Independent stops its presses, the Trinity Mirror group have started printing ‘The New Day’. The newspaper aims to cater for people with less time. As a newspaper I have had a look through the first few issues and found it holds a very similar styling to the Metro Paper and the ‘i’paper from the Independent News Group. As an easier read the articles are shorter and cater for those moments when news can be easily digested, much like the 144 character restraint on a twitter post. The paper also aims to offer more of a conversation, to show a more unbiased view of the news. Unlike many of the newspapers they all have a political stance, with a bias that will lean to where to the readers would want to lean.
Overall, as newspaper readership declines the reality for many of them is that they could go the same way as the Independent. The change in the consumption of media and news stories in particular. It’s a real shame to see one of the British newspapers go. The forecast may look bleak for those still printing their papers but it will be interesting to see how they respond to the loss of one of their rivals. It will be interesting to see where the newspapers will be in the next few years. This could mark a point where a newspapers relevance is become less and less to the public because of the more convenient alternatives of digital media.
I will leave you with this.
It’s changing. Are you?
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