Bacon butties and a sympathetic ear: day seven of the Newsquest south London strike
25 October 2016
NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet and NUJ president Tim Dawson visited the Newsquest south London picket line to meet the strikers on day seven of their strike.
"It is an appalling situation these young journalists find themselves in. All they want to do is professional, quality journalism and produce the best possible newspapers for local communities in south London. But the local management at Newsquest, which has already cut the newsroom to the bone, has made further cuts.
"How can 12 reporters cover all the news, features and sport in this busy part of the capital? How can they hold local politicians and businesses to account and write about all the events and issues readers want to hear about in their local press.
"I admire them for their courage and principles. If only Newsquest's management could show a little more bottle and come to talks with me or the chapel so we can resolve this dispute. I'd also like to thank all the local MP, councillors and London Assembly members who have written to CEO Henry Faure Walker to voice their concern that local democracy could be destroyed by his plans.
"The policy Newsquest is pursuing will not only alienate readers it will lose advertisers. As their titles are robbed of local on-the-ground reporting and as each title is filled with the same "generic" off-the-peg news stories, why a local business want to advertise?"
Michelle and Tim talked to the journalists and bought them a round of hot drinks and rolls. Tim Dawson said:
“One journalist asked about the threat of redundancy on his job interview and was told there had been a “clear out” recently, so he thought he would be safe. That says it all.”
While they have had fantastic support so far, the stirkers need volunteers to help them leaflet and distribute a postcard for the CEO from local readers. If you can do an hour or two in south London, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will match you up with a striker.