Good quality journalism and local reporting must be protected
Speaking ahead of this afternoon's Culture hustings at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow, Zara Kitson, culture spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP candidate for Glasgow, called for a halt to the imposition of new contracts at Newsquest-owned Clyde and Forth Press newspapers.
Newsquest took over last year and staff had until yesterday to sign a new contract or risk losing their job.
Zara Kitson said:
"Scottish Greens support the NUJ's call for an immediate halt to the new imposition of new contracts at Newsquest owned Clyde and Forth Newspaper titles in Scotland. Local news is at the heart of our communities, keeping people informed day in day out. Good quality journalism and local reporting is an asset to life in Scotland and must be protected.
"Newsquest's drive to the bottom to erode staff and journalist working conditions is a threat to our news industry in Scotland. Clyde and Forth Press were a sustainable and profitable news outlet before Newsquest took over, a rarity in the industry that should be celebrated, not diminished."
"There is no excuse for the proposed cuts to staff wages and working conditions. This is remote management and big business penny-pinching at its worst. Scottish Greens will stand up for protection of workers' rights and support an industry that is valuable to local people.
"Reckless actions like this call in to question the current models of ownership and control of our news and media. I want to see a Scotland-wide review of control and accountability in the news and media industry, with a view to ensuring employment rights and good quality reporting are protected."
Culture hustings presented by Culture Counts:
Newsquest forcing staff to decide: sign new contract or lose job (NUJ):