With a declining circulation and restrictions on distribution and sales due to the coronavirus outbreak one of the oldest print titles in the UK is set to fold.
In a statement on its website the Jewish Chronicle’s editor Richard Ferrer announced: “With great sadness, the Board of the Jewish Chronicle has taken the decision to seek a creditors voluntary liquidation of Jewish Chronicle Newspapers Ltd. Despite the heroic efforts of the editorial and production team at the newspaper, it has become clear that the Jewish Chronicle will not be able to survive the impact of the current coronavirus epidemic in its current form.”
Founded in 1841 and published every Friday the paper is is expected to be liquidated this month. The Kessler Foundation who own the Jewish Chronicle say they are seeking a future for the publication while meanwhile it will continue to be published for another fortnight and the website will be updated as usual.
It is unclear what the situation is with creditors as the newspaper said it had simply run out of money. Redundancies are taking place amongst the 55 staff and it remains to be seen if a buyer can be found or if the website will continue on its own. The liquidation includes the free newspaper the Jewish News which has run for 23 years and earlier this year was thought to be about to merge with the Chronicle although the deal didn’t come about.
The coronavirus crisis is taking a heavy toll on the newspaper industry as distribution and the inability of reporters to get out and about or to meet contacts have been curtailed. Councils and many public meetings have stopped meaning journalists are unable to report on what is happening or to question officials from the police to MPs. Even parliament is closed resulting in a lack of news other than the usual statements produced by various communication departments.
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