Thursday, June 9, 2011

Trinity Mirror Group decide to shed 90 journalists at the Daily Record, this is a bad decision, you can’t rip the guts out of this institution

Dear All

As a boy I grew up reading the Daily Record so it is sad to see this once great paper suffering such a major decline as the Trinity Mirror newspaper group announced that it is sacking or shedding 90 journalist jobs at its office in Glasgow.

You would be right in saying that Trinity Mirror newspaper group really is hammering the “nail in the coffin” of its Scottish titles.

It is understood the writing pool will be cut from around 50 to 27, and of its current staff of 11 photographers will be reduced to just only three people.

The picture desk is said to be losing three of its eight employees and multimedia desk drops from 22 to 12.

Old style technology has been replaced by digital.

And the internet plays a big part in driving forward the market.

Trinity Mirror say that in order to cut costs it would be sharing non-Scottish content with sister titles the Mirror, Sunday Mirror and The People.

To say that this is a terrible blow for journalism in Scotland doesn’t quite full explain the scale of this decision, it is literally tearing the guts out of the paper.

It seems that ‘outsourcing’ is the new in word with the design and sub-editing of some features and magazine pages going to a bespoke Daily Record/Sunday Mail unit at the Press Association.

Bruce Waddell, editor in chief, said:

“In common with all newspapers, the Daily Record and Sunday Mail are not immune from the current difficult economic conditions and our industry is experiencing unprecedented structural change”.

He added:

“We have to constantly review and adapt the way we work to harness the opportunities available to us. Ultimately, our plan will retain what the Daily Record and Sunday Mail does best – the generation and production of brilliant Scottish news and sports – while safeguarding their future success for generations to come.”

The National Union of Journalists said it would be meeting with management today in a bid to stave off the “totally unacceptable” level of cuts.

I think they will put up a good fight but in the end, I think the die has been cast.

Scottish Organiser Paul Holleran said:

“We will be arguing such a savage cut in jobs would be destructive for the future of the Daily Record and Sunday Mail in Scotland and arguing that the company should reconsider. The company’s proposals would mean a significant number of editorial jobs would be taken out of Scotland and this would impact on the Daily Record and Sunday Mail’s unique Scottish identity.”

He is of course quite right; the Daily Record’s strength has been its localism but a negative in its decline has been its blind support for the Labour Party.

Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray said it was a “terrible blow for journalism in Scotland”.

What is happening at the Daily Record isn’t unique to them as the Sunday Times has a skeleton staff of only four reporters.

Unsurprisingly, the SNP who has never got the support they deserved from the Daily Record were quick to respond with their support for both the staff and the paper.

In times of trouble, you find out who your real friends are.

Glasgow Kelvin MSP Sandra White said:

“Losing almost 50% of their journalists feels like the nail in the coffin of the Daily Record and Sunday Mail, and for that to disappear out of Scotland is just unbelievable. They’ve always been at the forefront, never afraid to investigate. We’re going to lose that, and once its gone we’ll never get it back.”

James Dornan, SNP MSP for Glasgow Cathcart said:

“The Daily Record may not always have been a friend to the SNP, but it is a Glasgow and Scottish institution which we risk losing at our peril.”

Daily Record sales have suffered as rival the Scottish Sun has captured the market.

And who do the Scottish Sun now back?

The Scottish National Party!

Anyway, I hope the Trinity Mirror newspaper group have a rethink and don’t destroy the Daily Record by making it a lesser publication.

So, the SNP have a new challenge, supporting people who previously didn’t support us and were very much ‘anti’, but then that is the nature of politics, people are in trouble, time to circle the wagons.

They might not like us but they are part of our community and we are fighting for everyone.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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