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Gay Pink Paper suspends printing

24 June 09 16:39 GMT

National gay newspaper the Pink Paper has suspended printing, citing falling advertising revenues caused by the economic downturn.

It will continue its online edition and weekly e-mail newsletter, Pink Paper Xtra, said editor Tris Reid-Smith.

He said they hoped to resume printing the paper - which is free and relies heavily on recruitment and property adverts - when the economy recovered.

The publishers said staff would stay to work on the website and other titles.

In the British media thousands of jobs have been cut and newspaper titles closed, with employers blaming falling advertising revenues and circulation, and changes in the way people consume news.

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said the loss of the fortnightly paper edition of Pink Paper was "a big blow to the lesbian and gay community".

"We have lost a major source of news and information. It was an invaluable forum for debate and helped us co-ordinate campaigns against homophobia."

He said although the online version would remain, it was "no substitute" for the paper, which had a circulation figure of 51,500.

"Without the Pink Paper, the lesbian and gay community is likely to become more fragmented and isolated, with people in one part of the country being much less aware about what is happening in other parts of the country," said Mr Tatchell.

Mr Reid-Smith said since last year organisations on which it relied had slashed their budgets for print advertising, leaving the paper unable to cover its costs.

Kim Watson, media director of publisher Millivres Prowler Group (MPG) - which also publishes Gay Times and Diva - said the Pink Paper was particularly vulnerable because of its heavy reliance on property and recruitment adverts, two of the sectors badly hit by the global financial crisis.

"The decision to suspend fortnightly print and distribution of Pink Paper has been one of the toughest we have had to make in a long time."

She added: "But in order to ensure that we can continue providing a service to the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] community in future we have taken the decision now, rather than when the situation has worsened to a point that we would need to cease Pink Paper all together."

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