MEN office closures: 'Local accountability will be lost'

The political editor of the Stockport Express has spoken out about the Guardian Media Group’s decision to cut jobs at its regionals division and move all of its north-west weekly papers to a central base in Manchester.

Peter Devine told Total Politics magazine: “Moving political reporting out of areas such as Stockport will leave a huge vacuum, one which will be filled by dumbed-down, out-of-touch coverage by out-of-town reporters.

“The local political reporter is the person at the coal face – digging out what is happening at the town hall.

“If the political news moves out of the towns and rural areas into the larger cities then local democratic accountability will be lost.”

GMG Regional Media chief executive Mark Dodson said journalists would hold local surgeries in their patch to stay in touch with residents.

“Most work is done by phone, email and technology. All our reporters will be equipped with Nokia 95s and laptops,” he told the magazine.

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