'There just aren’t enough people prepared to pay for printed news' – Independent editor on newspaper closure and digital future

The Independent's editor has promised "the spirit and quality" of the newspaper will endure after it publishes its last print edition and goes online-only on 26 March.

A day after the 29-year-old newspaper's closure was announced, Amol Rajan used his editor's letter to address the paper's demise and tout its prospects as a digital operation.

He wrote: "The simple fact is, there just aren’t enough people who are prepared to pay for printed news, especially during the week. With our circulations and advertising down, very substantially, the future of our print edition would inevitably be one of managing decline.

"I don’t want that to be our approach; and by being decisive about the switch to digital, I think we can go out on a high."

The closure of the Independent and Independent on Sunday newspapers was announced on the same day owner Evgeny Lebedev confirmed tabloid sister title the i will be sold to Johnston Press for £24m.

Shuttering the broadsheets will put between 75-100 journalists' jobs at risk, according to some estimates, but Raman suggested money raised from the sale of the i would be reinvested as the Independent continues as a website and app.

"We are read by millions every day – but they are reading us digitally, through their mobiles, and via social networks. I know it is a hard thing to say here and now, but I want the message to go out loud and clear that even after we cease to print, in spirit and in impact this great newspaper will live on.

"We have huge, global ambitions for our website, backed by multimillion-pound investment from our owners, the Lebedev family. They have invested more than £60m in this great institution over six years. Having sold our stablemate title, i, they have the chance to fund the next chapter in our story. In plotting the next few years, it makes sense for them to invest that money in the digital product."

According to Raman, that investment will include the opening of "new bureaux across the world" and "a new subscription mobile app".

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