Lisa Markwell, editor of the Dependent on Sunday which has got rid of its arts critics, is trying to reassure readers and advertisers that there will still be something cultural to read in her paper. Here’s what she says:
The Independent on Sunday is as committed to arts and books coverage as it has always been. The arts critics have been made redundant from their current reviewing contracts (as part of a wider process at the Independent titles) but there will continue to be significant arts coverage – in a dedicated arts and books section – in the Independent on Sunday and it is hoped that the excellent arts writers will continue to contribute.
That statement is content-free, even by present standards of equivocation. I ran into one of the sacked critics yesterday. The impression I got was of a newspaper group that is ditching what remains of its core values in order to stay afloat a brief hour longer.
Eventually, and before long, a single set of reviews will appear in the Evening Standard and the Independent titles. Since the Standard is a freesheet, there will be no cultural reason left to buy the Indy.