Regional journalists deserve a fair deal - Press Gazette

Regional journalists deserve a fair deal

The regional press is big business. Let no-one have any doubt about this just because, occasionally, some parts of it look penny-pinching and mean, most notably to its journalists.

Every year advertisers spend more than £3bn and readers many millions more. The regional press is six times larger than the radio industry in the UK and its readership is growing.

Yes, growing.

This according to The Newspaper Society which represents its interests.

Last Friday we were celebrating the quality of regional journalism, the main asset of the regional press. At the same time, according to the NUJ, the second largest regional newspaper company in the UK sent out letters to its 9,000 pension fund members admitting a £65m shortfall in their pension fund.

Great timing. This same company has been growing profits, announcing growth in various revenue sectors and boasting of its superior performance by contrast with its American owner.

So why has Newsquest and its parent company Gannett suddenly discovered a £65m shortfall?

What follows is a period of consultation over how to run the scheme better. No doubt this will involve those regional journalists who are already among the worst paid in the industry being invited to pay out more.

An independent investigation into this sorry affair is the least they should expect.



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