At a lunch to celebrate the launch of the new Chingford Times, the new General Secretary of the NUJ, Michelle Stanistreet, congratulated Tindle Newspapers on the launch and on Tindle’s positive approach to tackling the recession. A copy of her speech is shown below together with the speech made by Barry Fitzpatrick, Head of Publishing at the NUJ.
I am really delighted to be here today.
The local newspaper industry is in extremely turbulent times so it is really refreshing to come along and celebrate this success; it is all very positive.
Too many employers out there we deal with on day to day basis are adopting a strategy of cutting staff, slashing costs and compromising quality in a process of really just managing decline.
It is a real pleasure to see this commitment in Basildon and a real drive to adopt business model that gives local people a high quality newspaper that they deserve.
It allows journalists to do what they do best and produce quality news and I hope this model can be adopted far and wide to help local newspapers once again go from strength to strength.
You have a great team of people that are working on it, which makes a huge difference as you have the passion for it and local newspapers play an important role in democracy.
Without journalists we wouldn’t have councillors and business people held to account and, importantly, it gives local people a voice whether the matters are big or small.
On behalf of the NUJ I would like to wish you every success and hope that this business model can be rolled out to other newspapers.
I would like to say thank you to Sir Ray for his commitment to his papers and believe that by taking brave decisions such as this it will help get the industry back on its feet.
What’s happened here is a concept, which is a brave way to fight ourselves out of the recession.
In other areas, other newspapers are not being as proactive to do such a thing.
Local people to accept that local newspapers are a valued product and are willing to buy them and to do that we have to get the quality and the content right.
I think it is fair to say we have a robust relationship with Sir Ray, but it one that is one based on respect.
I know he respects my union and we certainly respect him. It is fair to say he is one of the last remaining real characters in the industry and if it weren’t for people like him we probably wouldn’t be where we are today.
If people are serious about keeping local newspapers rather than just managing the decline it must be the best way forward to get help to ensure that the industry not just survive but to go into the next phase of where the future is.
It really is great to see such a proactive approach that the newspaper is taking.