Monday, 16 March 2009

Manchester weeklies 'no confidence' in Scott Trust over Guardian's job cuts plan

Journalists working for weekly papers in Greater Manchester owned by the Guardian Media Group have declared a vote of no confidence in the Scott Trust over GMG's decision to impose job cuts and close the offices of all the weekly titles in the region.
Members of the NUJ chapel, which represents six weekly titles in the south of Greater Manchester, unanimously passed the motion after the company announced 78 redundancies across GMG's weekly titles and sister paper the Manchester Evening News.
The chapel has now written to the Scott Trust's chair of trustees, Dame Liz Forgan, to inform her of the vote of no confidence.
The letter, written on behalf of the chapel by MoC Bethan Dorsett, said: "Our members deplore the decision to make these sweeping job cuts, particularly the compulsory editorial redundancies - a first for MEN Media - which will affect around a third of the journalists working in the weeklies.
"We also condemn the decision to remove all local newspapers from their "patches", which will not only have a devastating effect both on readership, and therefore profits, but also on the remaining staff, who face a complete overhaul of their terms and conditions without the benefit of additional pay.
"We believe this short-sighted decision will effectively obliterate the existence of popular titles, from the Rochdale Observer in the north to the Stockport Express in the south, in all but name.
"The chapel has passed this vote of no confidence in the Scott Trust as we feel these profit-driven decisions threaten the future of quality, independent journalism in the north-west.
"As CP Scott said in his centenary lecture, which laid the foundation of the Trust's values, a newspaper is 'much more than a business' as it reflects the influences and life of a whole community'."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Rochdale Observer stopped reflecting "the influences and life of a whole community" years ago.

Obsessed with advertising revenue and saving face with the Local Establishment, the Rochdale Observer never really followed the spirit of the Scott Trust. This model was followed with the other regional newspapers within GMG.

That was the reason why RAP- Rochdale's Alternative Paper had so much success in the 1970's and why its investigations have stood the test of time. RAP uncovered civic corruption, freemasonry shenanighans, shocking sex abuse by the Great and the so-called Good, local industry killing the town's inhabitants.

More than ever Rochdale is crying out for proper investigative journalism. The only thing the Rochdale Observer investigates is its own navel as circulation plummets. Shoddy, fluffy nonsense.

CP Scott must be turning in his grave.