Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Pressing home the message

We learned today that two more of our colleagues are facing redundancy, this time in Newsquest York's advertising department. It takes the tally to 29 from a workforce of about 210; the chapel rightly feels these cuts will be devastating to the long-term future of both The Press and the Gazette & Herald.

We raised the issue at a full meeting of City of York Council on Monday when joint Father of Chapel Sam Southgate went along to speak. He thanked those councillors from all parties who supported NUJ members during our five-day strike in May and spelt out the situation journalists at the company are now facing, before detailing the threat to democracy and the local community posed by cuts and a deterioration in the regional press.

In other news, we have heard from City of York MP Hugh Bayley, who said in a letter to the chapel he is concerned about the situation at Newsquest York following the redundancy plans. He said:
"York would lose a valuable asset if its daily paper closed or if the quality of its coverage declined. The media have an important role as public watchdogs, and the national media do not examine the range of issues covered by regional and local papers. There is an overriding public interest in keeping local papers going."