Tuesday 28 June 2011

Strike for quality journalism

Local newspapers are under pressure because of a decline in advertising and readership as well as because of competition from the internet. However when publishers make cuts this often reinforces the decline with fewer journalists meaning less time for investigations and a tendency to do cut and paste jobs on press releases. Some newspapers end up padded out with stories from neighbouring areas rather than the their own borough.

I am convinced that a robust and active local press is absolutely necessary to hold the local council to account as well as providing a focus that cements local community solidarity.

Newsquest publishes the Harrow Times and Newsquest journalists in South London are to strike again this week in their continuing dispute over redundancies and in support of quality local journalism. Unlike some local newspapers the titles concerned are in profit.

The strike began on  Monday June 27 and is due to end at midnight on Thursday June 30.

NUJ negotiator Jenny Lennox said: “We’ve had a very successful two-day strike last week, and it is worth noting that a dozen journalists have joined the union since the dispute began. This reflects the deep anger which journalists employed by Newsquest at their bosses’ determination to avoid consulting with staff on the future of their papers.”

The NUJ strikers had previously adopted a unanimous vote of no confidence in their top management after a company decision to make an unspecified number of editorial staff redundant while the group’s titles continue to make substantial profits.

The strikers keep journalists and readers informed of developments through a special strike blog

The journalists deserve our support.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There's been a similar strike at Tindle newspapers in north London: