MPs condemn Trinity Mirror plans to cut 66 regional press jobs

Some 16 Members of Parliament have now condemned plans to axe 66 regional jobs cuts across Trinity Mirror's network of titles.

As of last week, 13 MPs had signed an Early Day Motion criticising Trinity for cuts at Media Wales and three more lamented the general loss to regional journalism, highlighting Coventry and Birmingham, in a further Early Day Motion.

At the end of last month Trinity announced a net reduction of 40 editorial staff.

The group is planning to cut 92 regional posts but create 52 new jobs (split between the nationals and the regional press).  

On Thursday Jim Cunningham, Labour MP for Coventry South, praised the “often excellent” standard of local journalism and praised their “vital contribution” to local democracy.

Backed by Coventry North West MP Geoffrey Robinson and Bob Russell, Colchester MP, the EDM also points out the “financial difficulties” of the trade and “notes with regret” Trinity’s proposed cuts.

According to Hansard, he said: “Cuts proposed in Coventry and Birmingham are twice as severe as the national proposals… this is the third major jobs cull in five years to affect Trinity Mirror plc staff in Coventry and Birmingham.”

Cunningham also pointed out that Trinity plans to axe the Coventry Telegraph's award-winning political correspondent Les Reid.

In addition, the EDM criticised plans to outsource local feature writing for Coventry and other cities to a hub in Liverpool.

Cunningham said he “fears that these proposals will overly stretch staff and that the quality of local journalism will suffer as a result”.

Calling on the Government to support the trade, he added: “Local journalism should be protected and encouraged”.

The EDM was the second to be brought up in Parliament in the two weeks since the announcement.

The first, signed by 13 MPs as of last week, expresses "deep concern" over cuts at Media Wales and calls on Trinity to hold discussion with the National Union of Journalists.

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