Thursday, December 10, 2009

Blow the whistle

A few years ago Press Gazette ran a feature about the most powerful people in newspapers. The shocking conclusion was that not a single editor made the top 10, edged out by commercial managers and finance directors. Now, we've taken the next step.

Johnston Press' decision to axe yet more sub-editors isn't an editorial decision, it's not even a decision made by commercial or finance directors, it's a demand direct from the company's bankers.

Let's stop trying to dress such decisions up in the phony cloak of "serving communities better" and dare to utter the truth. Whilst the public may be kept in the dark, some of Johnston Press' local managers are at least telling their staff the truth. More should come and blow the whistle. We won't tell...

In other news - I handed a letter calling for Government action over the massacre of journalists in the Philippines to Foreign Secretary David Milliband on Tuesday night at a TUC dinner at the Foreign Office, met today with the trustees of the union's staff pension scheme, had a meeting of our Union Modernisation Fund project team, met with John Hardie, the Chief Executive of ITN to discuss plans for preserving regional news on ITV and met BBC Deputy Director General Mark Byford.

I also had a telephone conference with our broadcasting team and tried to speak to colleagues at the Colombian journalists' union via Skype - but their electricity was out, they were working in the dark and so we're saving that chat for tomorrow.

At least they had a reason for being kept in the dark - for Johnston's subs there's no such excuse.

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