Tuesday, 14 July 2009

The NUJ, the MEN and the BNP

The MEN - Conning its advertisers

Well when I started to think about writing this article, I figured it would be your usual bog standard counter attack on the marxist NUJ and the deranged writers of the Manchester Evening News(MEN) who are attacking the British National Party, again. But I was wrong.

I now actually feel like a dog with two tails to wag. Because nothing gives me more pleasure then reading about the reds misfortunes and their complete inability to understand just why they are losing support and in the case of their pathetic journalists, why the papers they work for are losing readers.

But first the reason for the article. The National Union of Journalists are holding a day school in Manchester, where they intend to instruct their semi-literate members on how to "deal" with the British National Party.

Well I can save them the bother of going to Manchester, just report the truth. There job done.

But of course, when you read about who will be speaking and who is pointed to as making "a stand", you will see the truth, because one of the instructors is the MEN assistant editor Ian Wood, who gave us this crap story: BNP - the truth. This meeting is not a debate, it is a "you will do this" order.

And who else will be there, stirring the red pot? Why our old friends from the UAF, whose supporters are declining quicker than the readership of the MEN.

Now as you know or should by now, the MEN is owned by The Guardian, another rag whose membership is in such decline that it has started to lay off workers in their locally owned newspapers, including the MEN in order to save itself.
"Management at Guardian Media have openly said they are sacrificing local papers to safeguard the Guardian," said Michelle Stanistreet, the NUJ deputy general secretary."
The shrinking readership of the MEN now stands at 81,326 copies per day but that number gets lower with every publication of rubbish that they write. The MEN now gives away more copies then it sells
The Manchester Evening News’s paid-for circulation was down 13.5 per cent to 81,326, but its overall distribution is 180,900 including frees. Since the MEN started giving away copies in the city centre in 2000, it has shed double-figure sales percentages in its ABC audits.
The rag is clearly dying and one of my tails begins to wag. If I lived in Manchester, I am damned if I would pay for something other people are getting for free.

Then my other tail joins in and both are wagging away like something whose tails wag really fast as I go over to the NUJ Manchester and read the following letter by a former editor and I am more than pleased to publish in full, in the hope that those people foolish enough to advertise in the MEN read it and realise they are being conned.
As a Life Member, having retired ten years ago after almost 40 years as a sub at the Manchester Evening News, I believe that two major factors are contributing to the problems facing it.

1) The hiring policy: The system of hiring young people with stars in their eyes on short-term contracts (often very short from what I hear) will never produce a staff with that vital range of experience and time-honed skill. How can decimated staff, forced to get most of their stories by phone, buckle down to learning how to cope with such an exciting job, when they are constantly looking over their shoulders?

2) Lack of respect: The paper has so many ragged edges. How can anyone feel pride in it, when its managers so disdain it that they give it away? Is something for nothing really worth keeping? No wonder city streets are littered and waste-bins full of this once-proud paper.

And how does one justify giving away a newspaper that is losing sales? So many readers a night is not the same as so many sales a night. How long before sales really plummet as advertisers recognise the con?

What has brought the Manchester Evening News so far down?

Once I was proud to describe myself as a journalist. Now the fashionable word is the derogatory ‘hack"’ and when asked, I say I was once a journalist - ‘but of the old school.’

Barry Seddon, Wardley

And still the reds rearrange their deck chairs on their sinking ships of the local newspaper fleet and try still to attack the invincible BNP. Courage or stupidity. Stupidity I think.