Belatedly, Axegrinder has received a fascinating account of a mass editorial leaving party at The Independent following the latest round of redundancies at the paper.
On his blog, Charles Arthur, a former Independent man who now edits The GuardianÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s technology supplement, was an eyewitness to the send-off party for eight staff with 60 cumulative yearsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ experience working on the paper.
Arthur recounts: Ã¢â‚¬Å“The pay-offs were massive Ã¢â‚¬’ as in six-figure massive. The leaving pages went on and on.Ã¢â‚¬
He said that long faces werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t helped by the opening remarks in editor Simon KelnerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s speech which apparently fell rather flat.
Kelner reportedly said: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I was walking around the newsroom this week thinking, blimey, people are still here after 6 oÃ¢â‚¬â„¢clock, and writing away! They must have loads of exclusives! Then I looked, and discovered theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re all writing leaving pages!Ã¢â‚¬
One of the longest serving staff to go, Jason Bennetto, used the opportunity to recount a list of Ã¢â‚¬Å“things I wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t miss about working for The IndependentÃ¢â‚¬ which included: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Having my exclusive story knocked off the front page by a picture of a butterfly.Ã¢â‚¬
Arthur said: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Not long after I joined in 1995, the Indy had a summer redundancy sweep which was short and vicious. People complained then that the staffing was being cut to the bone. Well, in those days there were two health correspondents, a social services correspondent, a science writer, technology writer, another science writer, religious affairs writer, transport writer, labour writer, environment writerÃ¢â‚¬¦ and they were all different people.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Now thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a health writer, science writer, environment writer. NobodyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s doing religion, technology, transport, labour. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not just cut to the bone Ã¢â‚¬’ itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s down to the heart and lungs, kept going in some sort of vat with the brain possibly attached.Ã¢â‚¬