A storm of protest is greeting a column by one of the UK's best-known media pundits who has dared to suggest the Daily Record and Sunday Mail newspapers are “acts of charity”, on the part of publishers, Trinity Mirror.
Writes Roy Greenslade, in The Guardian: “I know this is going to upset the journalists who work there (plus others who don't), there is no genuine point to the Record.”
His comments are partly based on 1. declining sales (almost 50 per cent in ten years), 2. The design – “it's a tacky explosion of colour”, and 3. The “knee-jerk pro-Labour stance (a political anachronism in current times)”.
They follow news yesterday that the papers have earmarked 90 editorial jobs for the axe, over a third of the total.
He continues: “I have no especial brief for Trinity Mirror – as I must have made clear endless numbers of times on this blog – but its willingness to continue publishing the Record and Mail could be viewed as an act of charity.
“In a sense, the publisher is running a sort of social welfare service for journalists. Its board knows, though it cannot admit it, that there is no real future for the Record and Mail.
“It is managing decline. And the cuts are being made in order to ensure that the papers survive for longer than they really merit. Trinity Mirror directors won't thank me for saying what they cannot, but it is the reality.”
The article has prompted over 50 comments, most vehemently opposed.
He ends: “PS: Lest anyone think otherwise, I am not lacking in sympathy with those journalists who will lose their jobs in these cutbacks. I sincerely hope they get good severance deals. They're going to need them.”