Newsquest‘s decision to move the South Wales Argus to overnight printing will give local readers a poorer product, according to the paper’s local MP.
Paul Flynn, the Labour member for Newport, criticised the move in a letter to the paper’s editor Gerry Keighley yesterday.
He said: ‘What you propose is to rob Newport of a substantial numbers of jobs and skills and give your readers a poorer product.
‘It’s not only the present staff who will be losing out, but future employees, and the city will be deprived of the newsprinting facilities that have been a feature of our industrial life for centuries.
‘The change is being made for one reason only – to increase the profits of Gannett and Newsquest.”
The paper will go to overnight printing as a result of the closure of its Newport printing plant, making 21 printers redundant.
Unite, the trade union which represents them, said the closure was a ‘tragedy’and comes just one year after Newsquest invested in improvements for the plant.
Keighley told Press Gazette: ‘From the paper’s point of view, when you actually look at the stats, the Swansea Evening Post was the first to do it and was the fastest growing newspaper that year.
‘Because of the fact that you are on sale for longer during the day, it means you pick up more customers. In a world of increasingly competitive media, it makes a difference if you are on sale for longer.”
He said the Argus had doubled its online traffic to 90,000 unique monthly users in the past year and that its website would be redesigned in the next few months as part of a group-wide drive across Newsquest.
Newsquest‘s Welsh and Gloucestershire titles will now be printed at one of its English sites.