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The Independent's switch to digital-only will force staff to take huge pay cuts

Journalists at the Independent who manage to keep their jobs once the newspaper goes digital-only may see their pay halved.

Of the 160 journalists currently working at the newspaper 100 are expected to lose their job when the print business is wound up this Saturday and, according to the Guardian, senior staff who transfer to the digital operation are being asked to take pay cuts up to half their current salaries.

The changes stem form ESI Media’s decision to sell the i to Johnston Press and close the print editions of the Independent and Independent on Sunday.

ESI Media said 25 new digital content roles would be created at the online-only publisher, while 34 editorial roles will transfer to Johnston press and the remaining journalists will be asked to take voluntary redundancy.

Other issues arising from the changes include concerns over the focus on the quantity of articles expected in the digital-only operation, which will be run by editor Christian Broughton.

A statement from the NUJ was highly critical of the new focus as it said would impact the quality of the content.

The NUJ national organiser, Laura Davison, said: “The pay and conditions on the digital side are worse than on the print side. Experienced staff are being lost because of low budgets and current digital staff have concerns about pay, workloads and other issues.

“This will surely have an effect on the quality of the product. To succeed it will have to invest in journalism and there are few signs that this is part of the plan.”

Tony Connelly

I cover media, marketing and sponsorship news within the sports industry. This not only includes breaking news but writing feature pieces with insights from experts in the sports marketing world.

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