Tuesday 2 December 2008

Something Grey Cardigan and NUJ 'nut jobs' can agree on: local owners best for regionals

Press Gazette's columnist Grey Cardigan describes the NUJ leadership as 'nut jobs' in the magazine's latest issue. Grey was infuriated by NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear's comment that he was "slightly bemused" by regional publishers' objections to the BBC plans to expand its local websites with video reports.
But what's this? In an opinion piece on MediaGuardian, Dear argues:"The current failed model of local newspaper ownership by faceless, remote corporations is dead. We must seize the time to reshape the industry – encouraging real local ownership, community involvement and greater accountability. We owe it, not to our shareholders, but to our readers."
This seems to chime with Grey's views in Press Gazette: "Look at the history of our newspapers and you will find that many of them were founded by local men and funded by local businesses - printers, campaigners, shopkeepers and solicitors. These men did not seek to make a vast fortune from their great adventure...Why can't the big groups sell off their failing titles to people who would actually love and nurture them?"
At this rate Grey and Dear will be manning the barricades together against the faceless publishing corporations. Viva! la revolution.

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