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Stand up for local journalism 21 June 2011

Posted by Donnacha DeLong in events, NUJ.
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Invite to national campaign to save local newspapersLocal newspapers across the UK and Ireland are being destroyed by owners who put profit before everything else – quality, staffing and sales. Three of the major newspaper groups publish local titles in North London – North London & Herts Newspapers, owned by Sir Ray Tindle; Newsquest and Archant.

Journalists at North London & Herts Newspapers are currently in dispute with their owner over the continuing refusal to replace staff who leave. They took strike action last month and have balloted to take more action.

Journalists working for Newsquest South London took two days strike action last week against a further round of redundancies that’s leaving them incapable of doing their job properly and are planning more strike action next week. Newsquest have been cutting staffing to the bone in all of their papers and those in the North London group are no different.

The same goes for Archant, where a dispute with the NUJ in Norfolk was only recently resolved as the company continues to make cuts elsewhere.

With all the focus on public services provided by the government and councils, it’s easy to forget that some services have always been provided largely by the private sector. Local newspapers are one such and, at their best, they help to keep the community informed about what’s going on their local area – performing an essential role in overseeing local democracy. Wave after wave of cuts has seriously impacted on the ability of journalists working for local titles to do their jobs and has left many in the situation where they can do little more than sit at their desk churning press releases and searching google for stories.

Join the NUJ in standing up for real local journalism – journalism that’s connected to the community, that plays a critical role in local politics holding those involved to account and journalism that helps to highlight the problems in the community to the broader public to help change the local society.

Join us from 6.30pm on Monday, July 4 at The Dugdale Centre, Thomas Hardy House, London Road, Enfield Town, EN2 6DS for the launch of a national campaign to save local newspapers.

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