Plea from newspaper founder's great-grandson for Trinity Mirror to spare Welsh weekly editors

The grandson of the co-founder of the Abderdare leader Dafydd Trystan Davies has urged Trinity Mirror to reconsider its decision to replace for four Welsh weekly newspaper editors with an editor-in-chief and an assistant head of content.

There doesn’t seem to be any limit to the number of titles that the big four regional press publishers believe one individual is able to edit. The same picture is being repeated across the country.

As Davies and others realise, the result will be silly mistakes and libels slipping through, a lack of oversight for reporters and the loss of the vital link between an editor and the community he serves.

He writes:

The editors include two of the most experienced journalists in south Wales, Gary Marsh, of the Cynon Valley Leader, and Wayne Nowaczyk, who edits the Pontypridd Observer and Rhondda Leader.

I am writing to Alan Edmunds, the Publishing Editor at Media Wales, to express my regret and to ask if, even at this late stage, the decision can be reversed.

I feel deeply about this, as my great-grandfather J.L. Rowlands, co-founder of the Aberdare Leader in 1902, became its first editor, and my father, Rowland Davies edited the paper for six years in the 1980s.

Gary Marsh has worked hard to promote the Leader in the community and deserves better. He has been editor for some 16 years, making him the third longest-serving editor – after J.L. Rowlands and Gwyn Prosser.

The closure of the Leader Office in Aberdare was a body blow to the town, and this is further bad news for the newspaper and the readers.

Wayne’s departure will also undoubtedly have a detrimental effect on the newspapers he edits and break the contact between reader and editor.

To me, this means a downgrading of the newspapers in the Celtic group and shows a lack of respect for readers and the community as well as a lack of vision for the future of the newspapers and the group.

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