Local MPs condemn Archant and MEN Media cutbacks

Two regional newspaper publishers are facing a backlash from MPs, who have called on them to think again about making journalists redundant, warning it will damage local democracy.

Six MPs have so far signed an early day motion in response to yesterday’s announcement of 150 job cuts at the MEN Media, publisher of the Manchester Evening News.

The motion by Mark Hunter, the Liberal Democrat MP for Cheadle in Greater Manchester, notes the cutbacks by the Guardian Media Group “with regret and concern” and calls on the publisher to rethink its proposals.

“It will be the first time in its proud history the Manchester Evening News will implement compulsory redundancies,” the motion said.

“The founding fathers of the Guardian, particularly CP Scott, would be appalled and saddened by these developments.”

The Labour MP for Norwich North, Ian Gibson, has tabled a motion in protest at Archant’s announcement on Friday that it is looking to make almost a third of journalists in the region redundant in a newsdesk merger.

The MPs signing the motion said they were “dismayed at the blatant attack on reporters” which they said “smack of old newspaper practices”.

The motion has the support of Bob Russell, the Liberal Democrat MP for Colchester, and John McDonnell, chairman of the NUJ parliamentary group.

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