Saturday, October 18, 2008

Newsquest jumps the shark

It's difficult to pin down the exact moment when Newsquest lost its last remaining shred of credibility as a 'local' newspaper company. Think outsourcing local work to India probably clinched it. This is a 'local' newspaper company that doesn't think supporting its local communities is important. Its senior management don't give a toss, its regional management lacks the intelligence, foresight, will or means to challenge the bosses. The majority of the workers just grin and bear it or up and leave.

Which, ultimately, is what I did a good couple of years ago now. And therein lies the reason I'll no longer be posting to this blog (not that I have done for some time now). Newsquest isn't the only company letting its local communities down through cutbacks and greed. It isn't the only company whose leaders lack the foresight and intelligence to abandon the old 'cut costs and hope for the best' business model and take advantages of the new opportunities the internet presents. In fact recent events at Trinity Mirror suggest it's no longer the worst - although has a Newsquest manager ever had the decency Birmingham Mail editor Steve Dyson had, in explaining directly to readers what his company is doing and why? His comments/excuses are laughable, but he deserves credit for at least making them.

I'll still be commenting, hopefully a good deal more often, over on my other blog. If you want more cerebral comment on Newsquest's parent company Gannett, try here. For general media stuff, not all of it I agree with, try Greenslade, Press Gazette (especially the Grey Cardigan). For local newspaper news (including a few too many happy clappy stories and a dismal approach to style) try Holdthefrontpage. How-Do is good for north west stuff as well.

I can be contacted by email ( - and fully concur with these comments from the BBC's chairman