As reported on HTFP last week, members of the Leicester Mercury’s NUJ chapel have called for the paper not to defend its newsawards Regional Daily Newspaper of the Year title in protest at recent photographic cuts made at the paper.
Paul, above left, is a former deputy editor of the Bath Chronicle and spent the past two years training journalists at former Local World titles in the South-West of England before leaving the role earlier this month.
Writing on his personal blog, he said: “The ad lists a host of vital skills and priorities, but perhaps misses the most important. Rebuilding trust, morale – and pride – should go straight in at number one.”
“It is a very sad day when journalists stop feeling pride in their work and in their products.”
Paul said the decision by the Mercury’s NUJ chapel could be viewed as “odd” at first glance, but he added: “I think the whole point of the chapel’s protest is that they are cutting off their noses to spite their faces. The sacrifice is what makes it all the more powerful.”
Four photographers left the Mercury ealier this year in a radical restructuring of its picture desk operation.
Paul told HTFP: “I wrote the blog because I thought the Mercury staff’s protest was a really interesting one. I have huge sympathy for them, but also for all editors and senior managers trying to square all kinds of financial circles in challenging times.
“I realise I have the luxury of not having to make those sort of agonisingly difficult decisions.”