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National editor hits out at local newspaper office closures

Ted YoungA national tabloid editor has criticised regional publishers for closing newspaper offices – and called for more investment in local journalists.

Metro editor Ted Young hit out during a discussion on print journalism at the NCTJ journalism skills conference this morning.

Ted began his career on the Harrow Observer and later worked for the Northern Echo, before embarking on a career in Fleet Street.

He spoke out after a presentation by Archant journalist Emma Youle about her award-winning investigation into homelessness in Hackney.

Ted told delegates at Kingston University: “Local newspaper journalism is so important and, as we’ve seen with Grenfell, the council really weren’t held to account.

“So many groups are closing offices where newsrooms have been decimated and they’re wondering why people aren’t buying the newspaper.”

Ted added: “I hope this leads to investment in more journalists at a regional level. More investment in serious journalism has to be a good thing.”

A local newspaper which had previously run front page stories on the concerns raised by Grenfell tenants about safety issues at the tower block, the Kensington and Chelsea Chronicle, was closed in 2014.

During the discussion, Emma was asked by Nottingham Trent University lecturer Tracy Powell whether centralised investigations teams which have been set up by some regional publishers in recent years were a “realisation that cutbacks in newsrooms have gone too far”.

Emma responded: “Whether it’s an admission, I don’t think so, but we are having to work within our means in newsrooms and that’s led to some creative thinking around that.”



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  • November 24, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Unfortunately, and disgracefully, publishing managements have little real interest, and certainly no passion, for journalism, saving that for shareholders and CEO pay. Newspapers are not merely a profit centres, they mean far more to the areas they serve, and the readers whose interest, and patience, in their local papers is waning as newsrooms are shrunk, moved, centralised and overworked. Great local journalism these days is happening by keen, professional journalists, despite management disinterest (until they attend awards nights of course).

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  • November 27, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Sound of stable door being banged shut, with the clatter of an escaping horse’s hooves rapidly diminishing as it heads for the hills….

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