Here's to the next 178 years: a new lease of life for the Jewish Chronicle

There has been a shadow hanging over the paper. No longer

June 20, 2019 12:31

I have had the great privilege of being editor of the JC for over ten years. The team I lead is one of the finest in British journalism, week after week producing a paper that not only breaks vital stories but adds a richness and depth to our communal life.

Throughout that time — and before it — there has been a shadow hanging over the paper. Times are increasingly tough for newspapers and for journalism itself. The digital revolution, on its own, is a difficult enough issue for us to grapple with, to ensure we remain in a position to produce a paper of which we are proud. But there has been an additional sword of Damocles hanging over the JC — a pension fund deficit which, through no fault of anyone’s, has required us to make enormous financial contributions which, of late, have endangered the future of the paper itself.

The JC is the JC because it is independent. We are no mouthpiece for anyone or any group. We may infuriate you sometimes. We certainly make mistakes. But you, our readers, know you can trust us because of our independence.  That is why I am thrilled to report that, this week, the future of the paper has been secured — critically, as an independent newspaper beholden to no one.
Thanks to the generosity and community mindedness of a number of individuals, families and charitable trusts, a charitable fund has been established to guarantee the long-term survival of the paper. Last week, we reached an agreement with the pension fund and The Pensions Regulator for an equitable solution to the issue, ensuring both the paper’s and the pension fund’s viability.
The JC owes a huge debt of gratitude to Jonathan Goldstein, who put together the group of donors that has saved the paper’s independence, and to Alan Jacobs and Michael Goldberg, who worked tirelessly to bring Jonathan’s idea to fruition. 

The names of the charitable donors have been kept anonymous so that we are able to continue reporting on the community without any possible conflict of interest. The donors know who they are and we at the JC would like to express our thanks to them.

The independence of the JC is protected both by the charitable foundation which controls it and another body known as the JC Trust which, among other things, guarantees our editorial freedom. In my decade as editor I have never had to raise any issues with either of them and now I know I will not have to in future. There could not have been a better outcome for the paper.  

Now that the JC’s future has been secured, there have been some changes to our board, with Alan Jacobs becoming chairman. I want to use this opportunity to welcome him and to thank Stephen Grabiner, who is stepping down as chairman after six years. Quite apart from his heroic efforts to ensure that the charitable donors succeeded in preserving the independent survival of the JC, he has also been the most wonderful adviser and friend. No editor could have had a wiser, more helpful or more supportive chairman. My mistakes have been my own. But he has always backed me — and protected me from others! 

Here’s to the next 178 years.

June 20, 2019 12:31

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