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Jewish Chronicle and Jewish News seek liquidation citing losses caused by Covid-19

TWO Jewish newspapers are seeking liquidation, citing financial losses as a result of coronavirus.

Staff at The Jewish Chronicle and Jewish News, which merged in February in a deal that was yet to be finalised, found out, at the start of the Passover festival today, that jobs at both titles will be lost.

Jo Stevens, recently appointed shadow secretary of digital, culture, sport and media by new Labour leader Keir Starmer, said the possible closure of the paper was “very sad news.”

When contacted by the Star, the National Union of Journalists said it would not be commenting until after Passover finishes next Thursday.

The announcement by the 179-year-old Chronicle came a day after Enders Analysis, a media research company, predicted a long-term blow to British journalism as a result of Covid-19.

The Chronicle was already reporting losses of approximately £1.5 million on its operating costs of about £4.9m in 2018, as well as losses from the previous two years. Reserves of its parent company, the non-profit Kessler Foundation, have been exhausted.

Last June, a seven-figure cash sum was donated by 20 individuals, families and charitable trusts to the paper, which has been highly critical of Labour under former leader Jeremy Corbyn over his life-long solidarity with Palestine.

A month after the cash injection, editor Stephen Pollard wrote in an editorial, referring to the party’s leadership: “We want to see them removed from any significant role in public life.”

In February, the Chronicle agreed to pay “substantial” damages and legal costs to Labour activist Audrey White, from Liverpool, for four articles that it admitted had “untrue” claims of anti-semitism following an investigation by press regulator Ipso.

The Chronicle, established in 1841, is the oldest continuously published Jewish newspaper in the world.

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