Friday 5 December 2008

'Newsrooms are becoming like ghost ships'

Job cuts and low staffing are turning newsrooms into ghost ships, NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear claims in the latest issue of the political weekly Tribune.
He writes: "While newspapers and 24-hour news stations are full of the doom and gloom affecting the rest of the economy, the newsrooms are becoming increasingly like ghost ships.
We have even had the bizarre situation recently of a paper having to turn down additional advertising because there were no more journalists left to write stories to fill the rest of the additional pages it would have required, and the papers who ordered a halt to any photographic jobs after five o’clock in the evening – as if news only happens between 9am and 5pm."
He argues: "The current failed model of local newspaper ownership by faceless, remote corporations is dead. Now we must seize the time to reshape the industry – encouraging genuine local ownership, new models, community involvement and greater accountability."
Tribune is facing its own financial crisis and could close if trade unions don't come to its rescue with more financial support.

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