Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Last Post: Read this and weep for local press

Ex-Birmingham Mail editor Steve Dyson has written a terrific piece about the closure of the Chase Post by Trinity Mirror Midlands and its editor of more than 25 years Mike Lockley.

His article on HoldtheFrontPage looks at the huge economic problems facing newspapers, including a jump in newsprint prices, and concedes that the Chase Post was making heavy financial losses.

But Dyson really captures the character of a weekly with its own style and an outstanding editor that is at the heart of a community.

Reviewing, the last Post, he notes: There were "five pages of 50+ tributes that flooded in during the closure week – messages sent by everybody from ordinary readers to politicians, and from police chiefs to rock stars like Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple.

"But it was Lockley who best summed up how everyone was feeling as his page one message continued: 'We set out from the start to be the voice of this community. Judging by your kind words, we’ve succeeded. I intended to write a long tribute but you, the readers – the people that count – have beaten me to it'.”

Dyson ends with this plea: "We can only hope that someone, somewhere – perhaps without huge central costs and with no plc shareholders to please – might take a long, hard look at whether a locally owned Post with its great staff might still work.

Pic: HoldtheFrontPage

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