When you live and work in a bustling, international city like London, with the world’s media focusing on its vibrant political, business and cultural scenes, it’s easy to forget the capital is made up of lots of individual communities with their own, very local, personalities and issues.
With this in mind, local media focusing on areas such as Hammersmith, Camden and Chelsea are as important to community spirit and local democracy across London as the dailies and weeklies in Peterborough, Grimsby or Carlisle. In many ways, a good local newspaper is the glue that holds a community together.
So the news that the capital has just lost three weekly titles should be of massive concern to anyone in the capital who values the community in which they live.
Tindle Newspapers has announced that The Enfield Advertiser & Gazette, Haringey Advertiser and Barnet Press will no longer be published, resulting in the loss of six editorial jobs.
According to reports on The Press Gazette, Séamus Dooley, NUJ acting general secretary, described the closures as “a cruel blow” and has asked London Mayor Sadiq Khan to take measures to protect the local press.
The news of the Tindle closures come just a week after six other London titles were put into administration with three titles, Kensington & Chelsea News, Fulham Chronicle, Hammersmith Chronicle and Shepherd’s Bush Chronicle, at real risk of closure.
Speaking to journalists, Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, said: “The crisis in the capital’s local newspapers was highlighted by the recent London Assembly enquiry into local news.
“Further loss of titles will reduce media plurality and choice and have a severe impact on the coverage of democratic and public bodies. The continuing loss of journalistic jobs in our capital city is unacceptable.
“We have repeatedly called on the government to convene a short sharp enquiry into the crisis facing local news.”