After 279 years of continuous publishing, one of the oldest newspapers in the world is to go digital-only before the end of the year.
Lloyd’s List, the daily newspaper serving the shipping industry, will axe its print edition from 20 December following months of research into reader habits carried out by publisher Informa Business Information.
“We are very proud to take this next step in the evolution of Lloyd’s List,” said editor Richard Meade. “Lloyd’s List first started in 1734 as a notice pinned to the wall of a coffee shop in London offering customers trusted shipping news and information. That aim has not changed, but the technology has and our customers are now accessing the industry’s most sophisticated intelligence source in any coffee shop, anywhere in the world 24 hours a day.”
Meade told Press Gazette that there were no plans to cut any jobs at the title, which currently employs around 20 full-time editorial staff around the world.
Production staff working on the daily print edition will be expected to migrate across to the title’s digital products. These will include a daily briefing using responsive design that can be accessed on smartphones and tablets. A beta version of the briefing is due to be trialled in November.
“It’s a question of reskilling a few people who have got digital skills but are currently having to lay out a print edition every afternoon,” said Meade.
A customer survey in June 2013 by Informa found that more than 97 per cent of respondents preferred to access information online, with fewer than 2 per cent of Lloyd’s List readers using print exclusively. According to Meade, only 25 people subscribe to the Lloyd’s List print edition with no access online. The title’s website has 88,000 monthly unique users and more than 16,000 subscribers.
“In a sea of stories about media companies failing to make a profit, we are a success story,” added Meade. “We already have paying subscribers.
“We are the oldest newspaper in the world. This is part of securing our future for the next 300 years.”