NUJ deputy general secretary Michelle Stanistreet warned today that the sale of the Manchester Evening News could lead to more independent publishers being swallowed up by the big regional newspaper groups.
She said: "The move by Trinity Mirror has implications for the future ownership of local media across the UK, as major publishers weigh their chances of swallowing up what remains of independent publishing in Britain.
"The concerns for diversity of information and media in the North West are an immediate issue which we will be raising with the Department of Business Innovation and Skills. Trinity Mirror already publishes the Liverpool Post and Echo titles, in addition to a substantial stable of weekly papers across Cheshire and Merseyside.
"Now it will also control the prestigious Manchester Evening News, which has a series of titles in the region. This all raises issues of editorial independence which should be of concern to government and community leaders as well as the media industry.
"The NUJ's immediate priority is to secure the employment of the MEN workforce and to have real guarantees from Trinity Mirror that the quality and content of MEN publications will be protected.
“We are determined that the jobs and conditions of current employees will be fully protected, and we will be seeking urgent discussions with management to establish investment plans for the development of the papers.”
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