Birmingham Mail editor defends newsroom cuts and integration - Press Gazette

Birmingham Mail editor defends newsroom cuts and integration

Birmingham Mail editor Steve Dyson has given a spirited defence of Trinity Mirror Midlands’ radical re-organisation of its Birmingham, Coventry and weekly newspapers.

Dyson explained the thinking behind the changes on Tuesday and has weathered some rather strong criticism in the form of mostly anonymous comments.

The Birmingham Post & Mail and the Sunday Mercury are to have a merged reporting team writing to one converged web and print production desk, much like at Trinity’s Media Wales centre in Cardiff, home of the South Wales Echo.

But, as a result of the changes, 65 jobs will go across Trinity Midlands and 300 staff will have to reapply for the changed roles. Incidentally, Post editor Marc Reeves says that many staff with changed jobs will be get more money.

Dyson admitted it was “a sombre day indeed for me as an editor in having to announce changes that will require fewer journalistic staff”.

The response was angry: one poster, fittingly calling him or herself “Angry”, said: “Fact: This essentially means the end of the Sunday Mercury. Shame on you Steve Dyson. You should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself…”

Dyson’s response this afternoon is worth quoting at length: “I understand yours’ and others’ anger. I expected it…I’m under no illusion that some of the changes that are taking place are unpopular. And I realise some affected will need a target, (Fire away. It’s good for me soul).

“What I’m focused on is the staff who want to develop their roles …those who want to the smartest media in the UK and those who want a future in UK journalism in 2009.

“I want to ensure that as as those staff as possible have a part in this future. I’m very much less concerned at those who stick their heads in the sand.”   



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