Tuesday 26 April 2011

Enfield Nine: 'We've suggested ways to save titles'

Nine NUJ journalists, who are starting a second week of strike action at North London & Herts Newspapers over staff shortages, have hit back at claims by Tindle Newspapers' management that they have offered no suggestions on how to stop their newspapers' financial losses.

The strikers, who last week held a mock funeral for their titles in Enfield, say members of the public who have written to their owner Sir Ray Tindle about the strike action over non-replacement of editorial staff have received a letter claiming: "We asked the whole staff, particularly the journalists, to join with management to seek a solution to the huge losses the papers were making. The only reply was seven days' notice of a strike."

In response, the "Enfield Nine" claim they have suggested numerous revenue-boosting ideas to advertising management, including; a teen model search, a male-targeted magazine supplement, photosales specials, education-related editions, distribution reshuffles, several competition ideas and web-savvy initiatives.

They say these are in addition to a monthly supplement called Families In The Loop which editorial staff pitched to management and is now a 12-page monthly edition successfully bringing in a new source of revenue.

Father of the NUJ chapel Jonathan Lovett said: "The suggestion by management that we have been unhelpful is a downright lie.

"As well as producing nine newspapers in addition to our extensive workload, we have given numerous ideas to management to raise the bottom line. The majority of these have been ignored apart from a successful monthly supplement for families which has done well and showed how far our staff are prepared to collaborate and put in the extra hours.

"It is patronising and simplistic to suggest we have not considered the commercial reality of our situation when we are made all too painfully aware of it on a daily basis."

Pic: Journalists on strike outside the Enfield office (Jon Slattery)

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