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National journalists back regional colleagues

Journalists on the Guardian and Observer have backed colleagues on the local titles in their group who are fighting against planned job cuts.

The Guardian Media Group wants to cut 150 posts at Manchester-based MEN Media and a further 95 at Surrey and Berkshire Media.

Now a joint meeting of National Union of Journalists members at the two national titles have agreed to support their regional colleagues in opposing the plans.

The meeting agreed a resolution stating: “When the chapels in Greater Manchester, Surrey and Berkshire decide on a course of action, we will support them.”

The motion also called for redundancy payments for the regional press journalists to be equal to those offered on the national papers, namely four weeks’ pay for every year’s service up to £95,000, plus three months’ pay in lieu of notice.

The resolution notes: “This might well attract more volunteers for redundancy.”

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ deputy general secretary, said: “NUJ members will stand together to defend jobs and quality local journalism.”

Mark Dodson, GMG chief executive, has previously defended the cutbacks on the grounds that the “economic viability of local and regional newspapers is under very real and imminent threat.”


regionalhack (20/03/2009 20:49:47)
Well done to the Guardian and Observer NUJ chapels in supporting their regional colleagues. Their call for equal redundancy terms will be particularly welcome for those poor journos who do have to go.

Paul Feeney (21/03/2009 01:06:56)
This is the only way to go for local and national journalists. If they go for local reporters, they sure as hell are going to come for national journalists tomorrow. Thanks for your support.

Rich Simcox (21/03/2009 16:59:50)
Good on them. Shouldn’t even be news that they are backing them, of course, it should be normal. Then again, the Guardian shouldn’t be sacking a whole load of journalists and closing local offices. But it is. And it’s a disgrace.

Paul Feeney (22/03/2009 09:35:04)
What I find slightly worrying is that some of The Guardian journalists seem to be out of the news loop. Take for instance Polly Toynbee’s call in Saturday’s edition calling on the Commons to ensure that job losses across the country get talked about from the benches by MPs. On Thursday there was a long debate in the Commons on job losses in the local media across the country, and hey presto nothing in Friday’s Guardian!
Maybe somebody could point out this anomaly to our protectors of our libertarian way of life!

Jack Wood (23/03/2009 07:41:02)
Perhaps the journalists in the Daily Mail group of papers should consider supporting their colleagues in the various Northcliffe regional and local titles being stripped of their resources.
The guys at the Observer and Guardian should be admired for their stance. I only hope their “support” holds some weight if necessary and isn’t just a polite applause from the sidelines.