Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fort Dunlop, a multimedia journalism factory that really works

Roy Greenslade writes:

I have been very critical of Trinity Mirror in recent years for the company's relentless cost-cutting. And I was very sceptical last summer when it announced that it would be creating a centralised multimedia newsroom in Birmingham to serve three regional dailies, a Sunday title and some 40 weeklies.

Surely this would be the death knell for the Birmingham Post, Birmingham Mail, Sunday Mercury, Coventry Telegraph and many
of the local weeklies. The idea of locating them in a single headquarters, the iconic Fort Dunlop building next to the M6, seemed
like a disastrous decision.

The move, which also involved the cutting of 65 jobs, would surely lead to reporters becoming ever more remote from their readers. Sub-editors working across several titles would find the job soul-destroying. Editors would gradually become desk-bound production executives, losing their essential links with city and business leaders.

But my visit to Fort Dunlop last Friday dispelled every one of those concerns (and prejudices).

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