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Headline error shows strike-hit weeklies ‘can’t manage’ says union

The National Union of Journalists says it is clear that newsrooms hit by industrial action “can’t manage” without striking journalists after an erroneous front page headline appeared on one of the newspapers affected.

Friday’s edition of the Surrey Comet featured the splash headline ‘Are litter rules shop counter-productive?’, which hit newsstands on the second day of the strike by Newsquest South London journalists over plans to axe up to 14 jobs.

A photograph of the Comet’s front page, pictured below, was widely shared on social media, including by the NUJ’s official Twitter account.

Other titles affected by the 12-day walkout, which is due to finish on 1 July, include the eight-edition South London Guardian series, Elmbridge Comet and the Richmond & Twickenham Times.

Surrey headline

Union members from their sister News Shopper series titles in South-East London are due to join the strike today and tomorrow.

The action was called after members voted unanimously in favour of striking over a proposed cost-cutting drive, which will see many senior roles cut and 16 weeklies placed under a single group managing editor.

Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, said: “At the heart of this dispute is proper resourcing for local newspapers.

“The brilliant stand taken by our members demonstrates the need for Newsquest and parent company Gannett to genuinely invest for the future – in pay, in staffing – for readers and for advertisers.

“It’s clear today the company can’t manage without its committed editorial staff.  They should come back round the table and get these issues sorted out pronto.”

Newsquest has yet to respond to HTFP’s request for a comment.


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  • June 22, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Superb furniture here – what’s wrong with it (apart from absolutely everything)?

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  • June 22, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Particularly like the widows too, Just flow that copy into the boxes, strike-breakers!

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  • June 23, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Excuse me while I drive a bus under that headline and hope to miss the orphans.

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  • July 10, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Looks like typical Sutton papers headline. Love their puns no matter the result. Leave all that to Mock the Week, etc. Puns pretty much had it in a paper aimed at general market, ie people whose first language is not English are unlikely to comprehend many of them. I still don’t understand headline apart from counter play on words. Must be my concentration…

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  • July 12, 2015 at 10:29 am

    I’d also argue the word is too complicated for many to fathom. Are the shop litter rules worth it? If that’s what the story is about and they’re desperate for their pun. I haven’t read further than their headline.

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