Local Journalism – Newsquest Group
“This Assembly is deeply concerned about Newsquest South London’s plans to significantly reduce its workforce, and at a time when resources for news provision across the capital are already considerably stretched.
The newsroom restructure will result in just 12 reporters covering news, sport and leisure across 11 newspapers and eight websites under a single content editor. Seven reporters have resigned over the plans and others face redundancy.
In addition to the reduction of the number of newsroom staff, the working conditions of those that remain with Newsquest will be severely compromised. This includes the following newspapers: The Croydon Guardian, Sutton Guardian, Epsom Guardian, Wimbledon Guardian, Wandsworth Guardian, Balham and Tooting Guardian, Mitcham and Morden Guardian, Kingston Guardian, Surrey Comet, Elmbridge Comet, the Richmond & Twickenham Times and The News Shopper - for Lewisham, Greenwich, Bexley and Bromley.
This Assembly believes that newsroom staff across the city provide an essential service informing the public and raising their awareness of key issues in their local areas. They serve as a valuable means of engaging individuals with the democratic process, informing Londoners of the work we do here at the London Assembly. To lose or greatly compromise the ability of newsroom staff to continue to serve the public in this way would be regrettable. London needs quality local newspapers to ensure democratic scrutiny, accountability, and to encourage an informed and active citizenship – these proposals do not provide that.
This Assembly calls on the Mayor to continue to engage with the NUJ and Newsquest in this dispute to find a solution that maintains the quality of the South London Press publications, and commit to look at ways in which local newspaper provision can be supported in London.”