View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. News
September 16, 2015updated 17 Sep 2015 1:54pm

Newcastle Journal columnists resign rather than work for nothing and plan to set up own website

By Dominic Ponsford

Trinity Mirror’s Newcastle-based daily The Journal is facing a revolt after inviting various regular paid columnists to provide their services for nothing.

Most have withdrawn their services and Press Gazette understands some are now planning to set up an independent comment website for the north of England.

TV agony aunt Denise Robertston is understood to have quit her column two weeks ago. Poet and stand-up comedian Kate Fox is also understood to have left.

Former Daily Mirror editor David Banks has provided his Journal column free of charge for the last two years but decided to leave as well after hearing of the new policy.

Press Gazette understands that columnist Keith Hann has also decided to stop writing for the paper.

The website Voice of the North is expected to be up and running this week and will feature axed Journal columnists and other writers.

In a resignation letter to Journal executive editor Richard Kirkman, Banks said: “I hope that my decision two years ago to give a little support to Brian Aitken's editorship by voluntarily opting not to invoice for my work did not inspire Trinity Mirror to extend the 'scheme' to every other columnist.

Content from our partners
Publishing on the open web is broken, how generative AI could help fix it
Impress: Regulation, arbitration and complaints resolution
Papermule: Workflow automation for publishers

“As my Guardianista daughter constantly reminds me, I am preventing others from earning a crust. My intended selflessness is selfish.

“I relish the thought that a similar fate is soon visited your CEO and his £1.8m annual salary.

“I thank you for your help and support and that of my former colleagues. I wish you all the best.”

The Journal had an average daily sale of 15,807 in the first half of this year, down 9.1 per cent year on year.

Topics in this article : ,

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network