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Assembly calls on Khan to intervene in Newsquest dispute

glaLondon Mayor Sadiq Khan is being urged to broker a deal to end the dispute between journalists and managers at Newsquest’s South London titles.

National Union of Journalists members at the Sutton-based South London Guardian and News Shopper series returned to work this week following a two-week stoppage in protest at plans to axe up to 11 editorial roles.

Newsquest says the changes are needed to ensure a “sustainable” for the future for the titles, which also include the Richmond and Twickenham Times and Surrey Comet.

Now the London Assembly has unanimously passed a motion calling on Mr Khan to “engage” with the two sides to find a solution.

The move came as pictures were posted on Twitter claiming to show that one of the affected titles, the Croydon Guardian, had published the same story three weeks in a row.

Under the company’s plans, a team of 12 reporters, four content editors and a web editor will cover the whole South London patch.

The motion read:  “This Assembly is deeply concerned about Newsquest South London’s plans to significantly reduce its workforce, and at a time when resources for news provision across the capital are already considerably stretched.

“This Assembly believes that newsroom staff across the city provide an essential service informing the public and raising their awareness of key issues in their local areas. They serve as a valuable means of engaging individuals with the democratic process, informing Londoners of the work we do here at the London Assembly.

“To lose or greatly compromise the ability of newsroom staff to continue to serve the public in this way would be regrettable. London needs quality local newspapers to ensure democratic scrutiny, accountability, and to encourage an informed and active citizenship – these proposals do not provide that.

“This Assembly calls on the Mayor to continue to engage with the NUJ and Newsquest in this dispute to find a solution that maintains the quality of the South London Press publications, and commit to look at ways in which local newspaper provision can be supported in London.”

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  • November 4, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Re the last para of this: While the motion may be correctly reproduced, the South London Press is a completely different company to Newsquest and at the moment, its papers are better than Newsquest’s by a country mile.

    It says something of the assembly members that they are all too keen to jump on a bandwagon without actually getting their wording correct and knowing which companies they are talking about. How much has each assembly member actually engaged with Newsquest management, beyond writing a letter?

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