I knew, the minute my job was first mooted, on the steps of San Francesco church in the sun-drenched, mafia-infested Sicilian town of Noto, that I would be the last editor of the (printed) Independent. This fact was reinforced at 17.21 on my first day, when the daily email from our circulation department put the figure for our paid-for circulation at 42,000. The closure of the Independent’s print edition was a long time coming but that doesn’t stop it being a painful shock. Introspection is inevitable. Was it my fault? How did I do?
There are three parts to the job these days — editorial, commercial, digital — and one golden rule: in poor newspapers, the commercial guys call the shots; in rich ones, the editorial guys do.