Indie abandons plans for gay section

The Independent has shelved its decision to launch a dedicated gay section, only days after its plans were made public by Campaign’s new Website, CampaignLive, on 16 March.

The Independent has shelved its decision to launch a dedicated gay

section, only days after its plans were made public by Campaign’s new

Website, CampaignLive, on 16 March.



Independent Newspapers, Tony O’Reilly’s Irish media group - which now

wholly owns the Independent and the Independent on Sunday after it

bought out its partner, Mirror Group, two weeks ago - said plans for a

gay section were never approved, either by the senior editorial staff or

the management.



However, newspaper sources told Campaign that the section had been under

discussion for two years before being given the final go-ahead just

before the takeover.



Mirror Group, which previously controlled the editorial policies of the

Independent on behalf of itself and also Independent Newspapers, is

thought to have seen the section as a possible significant new revenue

stream for the troubled paper.



One source suggested the project had been aborted because the idea of a

gay section was difficult for a media group that has its roots in

Catholic Ireland to sanction.



A spokesman for Independent Newspapers said: ’Independent Newspapers has

no plans to look at publishing a gay section.’



The section was to have been edited by Ros Wynne-Jones, joint editor of

the Independent’s second section, the Eye, and the gay columnist, John

Little, was lined up to be deputy editor on the first issue. The plans

were far enough advanced for a launch ’within the month’ to have been

touted. Advertisers were said to have responded favourably to the

idea.



The U-turn is the first editorial decision to be taken by Independent

Newspapers since the takeover.



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