Starting tomorrow, and lasting two weeks, the Croydon Guardian team will be going on strike in protest at changes the parent company, Newsquest, is planning to make to the paper.
Newsquest has announced cuts of £160,000 to be achieved through making senior editorial staff redundant, merging the south west London and south east London editorial departments, closing one of their offices and asking reporters to work remotely.
This approach will affect many papers, including the Croydon Guardian, Sutton Guardian, Epsom Guardian, Wimbledon Guardian, Wandsworth Guardian, Balham and Tooting Guardian, Mitcham and Morden Guardian, Kingston Guardian, Surrey Comet, Elmbridge Comet, and the Richmond & Twickenham Times.
Under the plans there will be a content editor running the Sutton and Croydon papers with just three reporters working across the two areas. This is instead of the current set up with a news editor and four journalists (two reporters in each borough). Robert Fisk and Chris Baynes, the two journalists at the paper, already find it difficult to report on Croydon news and these changes will mean they can cover even fewer issues than they manage at the moment. Leaving the office to cover news will be next to impossible.
Robert and Chris want to serve Croydon with high-quality journalism. Local papers play a vital role in our democracy holding us politicians to account, supporting local events and organisations and providing readers with information and an entertaining read. These cuts undermine their ability to do that, which is why I’m supporting their protest.
To voice your concerns to Newsquest please contact:
Henry Faure Walker, chief executive, Newsquest Media Group Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org
Gary Kendall, managing director, Newsquest (London) Ltd: email@example.com