Thursday, 13 May 2010

Local Newspaper Week

How many of you have spent a few hours trawling through their archives or contacting the great and good to put together a feature for Local Newspaper Week?
How many have written about the importance of newspapers for local democracy, holding forth swords of truth and shining lights in dark corners and suchlike?
How many MDs have demanded their titles run this stuff in favour of news stories to highlight how important your papers are to the local community?
And how many of you realise what an enormous hypocritical crock of shit this really is?
Who the fuck are we trying to kid?
The majority of readers already know their local paper really doesn't give a shit about them. That is why they are based 30 miles away in an anonymous news hub being created by multimedia content creators who churn out unchallenged council and police PR.
The majority of advertisers feel like they are being sold a lie when papers produce ever dwindling ABC figures or have stopped publishing them at all as beancounters save cash by cutting distribution on a monthly basis.
Press officers rub their hands in glee as their irrelevant chod is printed, in many cases word for word, as the few hacks who remain on news desks struggle to fill the pages of the three or four titles they are responsible for which used to be fully staffed.
Senior managers continue to be paid bonuses while profits fall, titles close, journalists get sacked and our pay is frozen yet again.
The thing is we in the newsrooms actually do believe in the importance of local papers, it's a criminal shame our MDs really don't give a fuck.
Newspapers to them are vehicles to make cash so they can tick the right boxes, fill out forms and hit targets so they achieve their OTT this quarter. Editorial is an expensive and irritating evil to these tossers.
If they could sack us all tomorrow and fill it with ads they would without hesitation. Look at the advance of Atex and other template systems. Fuck any qualms newsdesks have with its effectiveness or reliability. One hack who had the system recently installed told me it was such a clunking piece of crap it was adding hours to the newsdesk's day in getting the paper out.
The management couldn't give a toss however as they save hundreds of thousands a year by sacking all the subs.
Don't worry about the quality, or the mistakes, we're still making a profit.
Tick box, fill form, yippee it's bonus time again.
Short term thinking breeding long term problems.
Johnstone has died but doesn't quite know it yet. But the group’s chief executive, took home £959,000 in pay, benefits and bonuses after reporting a 56 per cent drop in profits, five titles closed and more than 750 jobs shed. Its staff are now facing a further £15million in cuts.
The wonderfully named Sly Bailey, head of Trinity Mirror, took home a bonus of £671,000. TM's profits dropped 41per cent it shut 30 titles shut and 1,700 jobs were lost. She already gets paid a cool £1million.
A scandal, a disgrace. Nah, just newspapers.
And who is going to print that?


  1. Wonderfully said!

  2. Have you been sacked, Blunt? Or, more likely, made redundant?