Just four days after announcing that eight people from editorial were being made redundant, management at The Press in York have displayed a curious way of attempting to lift spirits.
Axegrinder has seen a memo sent to all reporters by Scott Armstrong, head of content. He writes that:
[L]evels of creativity and productivity being displayed at this current time need to be improved. By way of example, the prospects for tomorrow’s paper have all, but a couple, been sourced by the newsdesk (including the splash) or are ring-ins handed out by the desk. Very little is being brought in or created by yourselves.
This is not the standard we as a professional newsroom should be reaching. We should be more than simple press releases and ring-ins. You have all been given patch days and FoI Fridays, which should have helped bring in exclusives, but I have seen little result from patch days, and FoI Fridays just seem to have been forgotton [sic] weeks ago.
I know these are challenging times but I urge you to remember that finding your own exclusive material has to be more satisfying than turning around something handed out by the newsdesk. That isn’t journalism – it is the so-called churnalism.