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
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
The U-turn is the first editorial decision to be taken by Independent
Newspapers since the takeover.