First the Independent and now the i withdraws from Ireland, north and south

Exactly thirteen months after The Independent withdrew from the island it will be the turn of its baby sister, the i.

sample front page from the i paper with a cross through itThe Guardian’s Roy Greenslade reported this afternoon what the Irish News reported earlier:

Independent Print has decided to stop distributing copies of The Independent’s little sister, i, in Ireland.

Newsagents have been told that the issues of the i on 2 August will be the final ones available for sale in both the north of Ireland and the Republic. [Ed – think Roy gives away a little of his politics with that phrase!]

Shopkeepers were informed that this was for “economic reasons.”

A spokesman for Independent Print confirmed that the papers were being withdrawn from sale on the island of Ireland but made no further comment.

According to the latest ABC statistics, i sold an average of 877 copies in the Republic in June. Its Northern Ireland sales are not broken out separately from those in England and Wales.

While it’s still available in tablet form (subscription), there’ll be no more picking up a 20p copy at the train station for a catch-up in the way home.

Given the economics of printing and distribution – never mind the defamation situation – it feels like it’s only a matter of time before other national papers withdraw.

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  • Coll Ciotach

    leaving aside the issue of competition from the internet they seem simply not to be selling. If foreign titles cannot sell in our marketplace then of course they will stop shipping here, It is a good thing that the space is less congested as it leaves more room for our indigenous industry to thrive.

  • Kevin Says

    Alan and Roy are both a bit slow off the mark – this story was reported in the Irish News some weeks ago. The i apparently did not renew its Irish printing contract, but it was a decent paper and will be missed.

  • derrydave

    A pity – would much prefer it to be the Sun, ot the Mirror, or the Star, but unfortunately it seems the Irish love nothin more than reading their English tabloid every day ! Makes it all the easier to read about the latest English celebrities, soap operas, and football teams. We really are a complete embarrassment as a nation sometimes 🙁

  • Morpheus

    “We really are a complete embarrassment as a nation sometimes”

    I think you need to get some perspective DD.

    People watch Corrie because they like it (and when you compare it to it’s Irish alternatives then it’s very easy to see why)

    They support the likes of Liverpool or Man Utd *hocks a loogie* because they are among the biggest clubs in the world who play in the best league in the world.

    What someone chooses to watch or which football team they supports does not make them more or less Irish (or serves as a reflection of the nation) in the same way that if Paddy from Dublin drinks Coca-Cola and listens to JayZee does not make him more American or Hank from Chicago who enjoys a Guinness is not a little bit more Irish than he was 5 minutes before.

  • son of sam

    As the demise of Daily Ireland proved,not even the Shinners bothered to buy the paper which was unashamedly pro-Republican.Can we assume that they might have preferred some of the English tabloids?!

  • cynic2

    “the Irish love nothin more than reading their English tabloid every day ! ”

    Does that post say more about them or you? Perhaps you could start a Derry paper for Derry people with only Derry news. Oh …there already is one of those but I know it often covers Strabane too

  • cynic2

    ” unashamedly pro-Republican” …….. and crap

  • derrydave

    I’ve lived outside of Ireland long enough to realise that culturally we are extremely close to our next-door neighbours. Nothing wrong with this per se. It’s just rather embarassing to see how much we have taken some of the worst aspects of English culture and run with it as much as we have – the brainless tabloid papers, the celebrity obsession, the crap mind-numbing TV, the obsession with English footbal teams. I’m not sure I’ve seen this level of enthusiasm for a neighbouring country’s culture, media, and sports teams anywhere else in the world (though admittedly the Premiership is now very much a global phenomenon).
    Cynic, your point re a derry paper misses the point pretty spectacularly. Though I have to agree with you on the Daily Ireland – it started ok, but quickly declined in quality, and simply could not put a dent into the readership of Irish News which is simply a much better newspaper.

  • RG Cuan

    “I’m not sure I’ve seen this level of enthusiasm for a neighbouring country’s culture, media, and sports teams anywhere else in the world…”

    That’s what happens when a people are colonised as extensively as the Irish were. It’s natural of course to have some cultural crossover between neighbouring peoples but the gradual replacement of elements of Irish culture was far from natural.

    Once the majority of a people start speaking somebody else’s language then it’s only a matter of time before their overall cultural norms also change.

    If you want to see a part of Irish society that retains some cultural and intellectual autonomy, then check out the Irish language media.

  • GavBelfast

    UK media and society does also reflect and include a lot of Irish aspects within it.

    All-healthy!

  • aquifer

    Sammy’s archaic defamation law could tilt the risk reward equation towards withdrawal for titles with small circulations.

    And most of the titles are British, even the free trade papers and magazines.

    One court case and NI could be out of the loop for good.

  • Lionel Hutz

    aquifer,

    thats a bit of scare-mongering. Its not like Sammy has changed the law. He is operating the same law that has been in GB for ages and the papers havent exactly been shy in comparison to papers in the US for example. Whatever the rights and wrongs of Sammy’s decision not to roll out the new defamtion laws here, he cant be blamed for this one.

    We have a congested market here. We get the British papers, the republics papers and our own ones. Not all can survive. I would imagine that the Guardian and the Telegraph would also suffer. The Times would do a little bit better

  • Comrade Stalin

    Language is probably the single factor in cultural crossover as it gives you access to films, music, movies, books and theatre. Much more so than RG Cuan’s 800 years of oppression narrative.

    I’m in the USA at the moment and while it’s not news to me it’s striking; in shopping malls and on the radio etc. you’ll regularly hear David Bowie or The Beatles or other British artists. There seems to be a bit of a thing in Hollywood for British actors at the moment; and last week they were all going apeshit over the royal birth. Here in Las Vegas I’m noticing a ton of Gordon Ramsey restaurants. I bet almost none of this happens in France or Germany.

    Lionel, I thought about the libel law thing. Do newspapers have insurance covering their legal costs in the event they are sued ? If so I imagine there is a risk factor associated with publishing in Northern Ireland, and a smaller risk pool which those pesky actuaries may use to calculate higher premiums. Another nail in the coffin ..

  • Reader

    RG Cuan: That’s what happens when a people are colonised as extensively as the Irish were. It’s natural of course to have some cultural crossover between neighbouring peoples but the gradual replacement of elements of Irish culture was far from natural.
    Not just that – maybe not even mostly that. You’ll probably see the same symptoms whenever a small country is neighbour to a large country, especially if they share a language. Or is the shared language the main symptom of colonisation?
    After all, when Ireland got independence, TV didn’t exist – let alone Coronation Street. Ireland was continuing to receive new media incursions for the last 100 years, sometimes from the Brits, sometimes in parallel with the Brits.

  • Greenflag

    @ Comrade Stalin ,

    ‘Language is probably the single factor in cultural crossover as it gives you access to films, music, movies, books and theatre’

    Indeed -If James Joyce/Shaw /Beckett /Edmund Burke had written in Norwegian or Slovak would they have ever been heard of in the wider world ?

    LIfe is tough for smaller languages and it seems that we are nearing the Pareto numbers with 80% of the worlds people speaking just the most numerous languages such as Chinese , English , Spanish , Portuguese , German , Russian , Arabic ,French , Hindi and Japanese as well as some others .

    Linguistic diversity is declining rapidly in this globalisation and is being accelerated by modern technology . As an aside that same modern technology has helped some smaller spoken languages such as Welsh , Basque , Irish and others to avoid ‘extinction ‘ . Hundreds of spoken languages have become extinct throughout the world without ever having even ‘written ‘records . of their existence and thus the thoughts , beliefs , ideas or ways of thinking of their ancestors .

    On the other hand if one goes back far enough all languages go back to the one original tongue probably some 100,000 plus years ago and I read that that tongue would have been similar to what the San people (Bushmen ) speak in Botswana /Namibia . Interestingly the San language has several times more ‘sounds ‘ than English and also uses the ‘click ‘ sound which though still extant in a couple of sub saharan african languages is now extinct throughout the world .

    Newspapers everywhere are facing ‘extinction ‘ in their paper format . I will miss the Independent which I regard as being the best of the UK’s major titles .I’m not surprised it has succumbed to the local competition . As for the others the less said the better but they do have their absorbent quality if the eh tissue roll inadvertently runs out 😉