It’s not just the National Union of Journalists that opposes Trinity Mirror’s proposed 65 redundancies at its Coventry and Birmingham newsrooms – North Warwickshire and Bedworth MP Mike O’Brien has called the cuts “serious attacks on news, journalists and journalism”. In a letter to Trinity Mirror regional director Steve Brown, Labour MP O’Brien says the cuts would “undermine the ability of my constituents to get the news”.
Holdthefrontpage reports that Brown has agreed to meet with Coventry South MP Jim Cunningham to talk over the plans.
The letter was leaked to the Spaghetti Gazette blog, which accompanies the Midlands series of arts and cultures magazines of the same name. In it, O’Brien says:
Some of your titles have been run down over the years by Trinity Mirror. For example the Bedworth Echo has no office in the town. Some fine journalists try to keep in touch from a distance. The [Coventry] Telegraph used top dominate news in North Warwickshire but cutbacks meant other newspapers have grown while as the Telegraph circulation has fallen again…
I ask for an explanation for these cuts and I ask you to reconsider them.
NUJ chapels across the titles have voted to strike on 7 and 8 October – if – the company cannot find enough volunteers to fill the 65 or so proposed redundancies. Brown is “confident” of finding enough volunteers and the union will make a final decision on whether to walk out will be made on 6 October.