Friday, 14 November 2008
Newspaper job losses in South Wales
I have already blogged about job cuts earlier this year at ITV Wales and Trinity Mirror. The whole media industry in Wales is shrinking- it was never adequate to start with. Despite the great talent in broadcasting and journalism in Wales, and the fact that people trust Welsh and local-based media the most, it has been a disastrous year. Broadcasting should be devolved to the Assembly. Who will look after its interests in Wales if not?
This week has seen more media cuts announced by Trinity Mirror, this time in our local Valleys papers. Newspaper offices could face closure in Aberdare, Ebbw Vale and Neath. Up to ten jobs are expected to go. Some of the local Valleys papers will now have to merge together, leading to these distinct and trusted local titles being lost. Trinity Mirror is a FTSE listed company with a profit of over £60million in 2007. This centralisation and loss of jobs will no doubt result in even bigger profits for the company next year!
This is a crisis and needs a solution. The appetite for news, including local news, is as big as ever as the popularity of free but poor-quality titles like the Metro in London demonstrates. Could there be an opportunity for a more relevant Welsh alternative? The Metro makes money from advertising. Perhaps what Wales needs is a grant scheme to help establish our own Welsh media sector to compete with Trinity Mirror's near-monopoly. I'd be interested to hear other people's ideas.