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Newsquest restructure could mark the death of local journalism

Over the years I’ve been most grateful for the sterling support and scrutiny provided to me by South London Newsquest journalists and am very sorry to learn that their future careers with this organisation are in jeopardy. 

Newsquest have put its entire South London newsroom on notice of redundancy (bar the managing editor and web editor). It is sad to see any person made redundant but there are larger issues at stake with this restructure.

Not only does less staff mean less news, it will harm the quality of scrutiny with a single reporter having to cover large swaths of South London. It is not fair to these few remaining journalists, and everyone’s understanding of their local areas will suffer.

I have recently written to the Managing Director of Newsquest Tony Portelli, and expressed my concern. His short response said these changes were “unavoidable” and asked the GLA to support these papers with more advertising.

This cannot be the only option, and that is why my colleagues and I at the London Assembly will be performing an inquiry into the crisis in local news provision. In the meantime everyone that wants to protect local journalism should express their dissatisfaction to the management of Newsquest.

Sincerely,

Steve O’Connell                                                                                                          

GLA Conservatives Assembly Member for Croydon and Sutton

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