Rob Sharp: End of the road for an iconic champion of gay rights

Think free-sheet and you think of multi-coloured commuter-fodder littering public transport, not necessarily about one of the country's most community-cohesive, progressive publications. But the Pink Paper, the country's only gay national newspaper, has long championed the threats and triumphs facing Britain's gay community with a cover price totalling a big round zero.

This week, the Paper became the recession's latest media victim. Too dependent on recruitment and property advertising, when the two markets collapsed earlier this year the Paper and its publisher, the Millivres Prowler Group (MPG), found they lacked sufficient draw for mainstream recruiters to fill the hole in their revenue. Their sole presence will now be an online-only edition and a weekly email newsletter.

"It was never a problem with readership, we're doing really well with that, better than we can deliver on," says the newspaper's editor, Tris Reid-Smith, quashing speculation that a new breed of gay-only online networking could be siphoning off its public. "I don't think advertisers have fully latched on to the power of the gay market. Look at the average banking advert and there's always the stereotypical heterosexual family with a Volvo and a garden. They never try to reach out to new customers."

It is not the first upset the newspaper has faced. Founded in 1987, it went paid-for in 2000 only to reverse the move when its readers refused to pay. It has, however, enjoyed renewed success since relaunching as a tabloid in 2005.

Gay campaigners are now worried its closure could fragment the gay community. "We have lost a major source of news and information," says the gay and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell. "It was an invaluable forum for debate and helped us to coordinate campaigns against homophobia."

Traditionally the newspaper would allow readers from Brighton to Inverness to catch up on events and issues in a format that had a clear identity. "Since newspapers were invented, they have been attached to individual communities," continues Reid-Smith. "They become a force of habit and you don't have to think about buying them. You read them on a bus or train and in bed on Sunday morning. Online has a whole different identity and meaning."

He is however, attempting to put a brave face on things. "We always traditionally held over news stories for print which we can now put straight on the website. Now, that will become our first priority."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Extras
indybest
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Sales Director, Media Sponsorship

£60000 - £65000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A globally successful media and ...

Head of Affiliate Sales for Emerging Markets

competitive + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: Are you looking for your next role ...

Brand Engagement Manager - TV

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is your chance to join a gl...

European Retail Sales Manager, Consumer Products

competitive + bonus + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: My client is looking for an...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits