Tuesday 7 April 2009

Old Bell tolls for Press Gazette

Tonight it's goodbye (again) to Press Gazette, following yesterday's announcement from Wilmington, with a drink-up at the Old Bell in Fleet Street. I'll be drinking to the current staff Dom, Paul and Owen who've done a great job in very difficult circumstances.
I was working there a few weeks ago while Dom was on paternity leave (nice timing Wilmington!) and can vouch for the commitment the staff showed to the title. Owen broke the story that Newsquest was about to ask its staff to take a week off without pay despite the company refusing to comment.
Dom and his team deserved an award for the successful PG campaign to stop the Freedom of Information Act being watered down and enormous credit for championing the case of Sally Murrer, the Milton Keynes Citizen journalist prosecuted over police leaks.
I'll miss the PG blogs of Peter Kirwan on Media Money and the great Grey Cardigan.
As for Wilmington, its decision looks cynical coming just a week after it raked in the cash from the British Press Awards. I don't think the company stands a prayer of keeping the awards without producing a Press Gazette magazine or news website.
After all the BPAs don't belong to Press Gazette. The magazine stepped in at the last minute to help when the Mirror Group decided it didn't want to run them anymore. They pre-dated the involvement of Press Gazette and look like out living the magazine.

No comments: