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Readers ‘myths’ could put jobs at risk warns daily editor

ali-machray-200-657215439A regional daily editor has warned readers that spreading “myths” about where his newspaper is produced could put his staff’s jobs at risk.

As reported on HTFP last week, Liverpool Echo editor Alastair Machray launched his ‘#TellAli’ initiative with the aim of getting readers to tweet him with suggestions on how to improve the paper.

After scores responded urging him to bring the Echo’s printing operation back to Liverpool, Alastair published a piece on the Echo’s website in which he admitted the change had been made with a “heavy heart”.

However, after further criticism of the transfer of printing to Oldham seven years ago, Alastair, left, has now published a follow-up piece in which he sets out to “explode the myths” around where the Echo is produced.

Among the falsehoods addressed by Alastair in the latest piece were claims all of the Echo’s staff were based in Manchester, and that it was full of Manchester-related content.

Of the latter accusation, made during a BBC Radio Merseyside phone-in, Alastair said: “That’s the biggest load of claptrap I’ve ever heard.”

Alastair admitted the transfer of the printing operation wasn’t communicated “at all well” to readers, but reiterated the decision was made to “sustain our business”.

Earlier this week he said the move to Oldham cost in the region as £8m, whereas to keep printing in the city would have cost £22m.

Said Alastair: “It’s massively unfair suggesting people shouldn’t buy the Echo because it’s printed outside Liverpool.

“Would people only watch TV shows that are filmed in Liverpool? Would they only follow football teams whose players, coaches and owners are from and live in Liverpool? Would they only eat food grown in Liverpool and only drink beer brewed in Liverpool?

“Some people might think it’s clever to refer to the ‘Oldham Echo’ or ‘Manchester Echo’ – even some senior politicians have resorted to it – but they need to realise that perpetuating such myths could badly damage a Liverpool business with a long and proud history in this city, and put people’s jobs at risk.”

The Echo’s relaunch is due to take place at the end of this month.

7 comments

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  • June 8, 2015 at 10:29 am
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    What an insult to people with a legitimite gripe that is.

    For years the Echo was a big employer, the Echo vans were famous and they had a big print operation with a lot of local people working there, and they were all got rid of.

    Likewise the first thing Trinity Mirror did when it aquired the Manchester Evening News was move it out of Manchester and into Oldham.

    Suggesting these aren’t reasons people should feel aggrieved when they’re asked to buy a ‘local paper’ is baffling, but it’s even more low to suggest it could have an impact on jobs – especially coming from a company like Trinity Mirror, which will fire anyone, anytime, if it will save a few pence.

    Disgraceful comments.

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  • June 8, 2015 at 12:34 pm
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    I hope to see the Echo greatly increasing the number of journalists employed, with particular emphasis on older journalists who have been made redundant.

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  • June 8, 2015 at 12:53 pm
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    Eh Ali, whose calling my brother a myth-spreader?

    Calm down lad, calm down!

    Eh, whose telling me to calm down?

    (Sorry, couldn’t resist it)

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  • June 8, 2015 at 7:51 pm
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    You are very confused, Confused. Ali is a Geordie, and a good bloke.

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  • June 8, 2015 at 9:23 pm
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    I hate pedants, but Confused really is confused if he thinks ‘whose’ is the right word to use in this context. Where I come from, ‘who’s’ is the short form of ‘who is’, not ‘whose’.
    Please don’t tell me you’re a sub. Aaaarrrggghhh!!!

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