NUJ delivers wreath to Cannock Chase Post but says doomed Trinity Mirror trio can be resurrected
Journalists have delivered a wreath to the offices of the Cannock Chase Post newspaper in the West Midlands to mark the closure of three weekly papers by Trinity Mirror Midlands.
The NUJ claimsthat the closure of the Chase Post, together with the Sutton Coldfield News and Stafford Post, is an exanple of the "cuts-for-profits model of media ownership".
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary said: “Trinity Mirror has again taken the sledgehammer approach to local news provision. It is wrong for the company to continue to make profits and pay shareholders whilst the public and journalists face dire newspaper closures and job cuts. The decision to axe titles leaves the local community with only one remaining rival paper. The company have trampled on quality journalism, media plurality and the citizens right to know.”
Chris Morley, the union's Northern & Midlands Organiser, delivered the wreath which included the message "Chase Post, Sutton News & Stafford Post R.I.P under Trinity Mirror".
Members of the NUJ branch carried posters saying "Chase a buyer Trinity Mirror", "No! to Closure", "Save Our Papers" and "Post Haste to Sale".
The NUJ had called on Trinity Mirror to seek a buyer for the papers. Morley said: "Although we have laid this wreath, the NUJ does not believe these papers have to die. Trinity Mirror claims to have searched for a buyer, but has not been open about its efforts. It has an obligation by law to try to eliminate or reduce the number of redundancies the closure of these titles will bring about and one obvious way of doing that would be to actively seek a buyer.
“If it is serious about finding a new owner, Trinity Mirror should consider giving away the titles to any credible local investors with a clear interest in keeping them as the valuable community asset that they are. The group reaped the profits from these papers over the past ten years and should now be responsible to the community who provided those profits.
“The closure of these titles was announced in the same week that the new Localism Act was passed. As a union, we will be looking hard to see if this new Act’s provision for forcing companies to allow time for community groups to organise a bid to take over threatened local 'assets of community value', could be adopted to save threatened local papers.”
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