New newspaper launched in Birmingham
22 April 2010
A new newspaper, the Birmingham Press, has been launched in the Midlands city. The NUJ has welcomed the launch as an opportunity to increase the flow of information to the city's people and to offer more jobs for journalists.
Jeremy Dear, NUJ general secretary, said:
"Birmingham is a major focus of journalistic excellence. The launch of the Birmingham Press this week is a vote of confidence in the city as a news centre where the skills of writers, photographers and production journalists can help to provide an added service to readers in a complex modern environment.
"As the union for professional journalists, the NUJ wishes the new venture well. It is ironic that its launch might never have happened if Birmingham Post and Mail proprietors Trinity Mirror had behaved more sensibly.
"We warned Trinity Mirror that by collapsing the scope of its publications in the city and making journalists redundant, the market was being opened up for a competitor happy to recruit skilled staff who became unexpectedly available.
"The NUJ will seek to protect editorial standards and jobs at the Trinity Mirror publications, while expecting high standards to be developed at the Birmingham Press."
Trinity Mirror has made more than 100 journalists redundant in the West Midlands and reduced the flagship daily Birmingham Post, which set the news agenda for England's midlands, to a weekly. It also turned the Birmingham Mail from a true evening title with big breaking news to overnight production.
Chris Morley, NUJ organiser for the North and Midlands, added:
"The launch of an entirely new paper in a major city like Birmingham is a significant step. The creation of the Birmingham Press is a warning to all major British publishers that they have made themselves vulnerable to other players by reducing their their editorial workforce so that they may lack the resources to respond to competition.
"We warned Trinity Mirror that it was weakening its core titles fundamentally by making the swingeing cuts it did. It may be that further cuts have now been suspended by the company because of the threat from a rival. If Trinity Mirror wants to survive in Birmingham, it must stop cutting and start investing in its journalism."