Opinion: From our readers - Fewer hacks means bad news for us all

The recent warning by publisher Northcliffe of 'further substantial reductions' across its regional titles should be met with dismay by public relations professionals.

Cost-cutting in a section of the media already stripped to the bone will inevitably lead to further decline in editorial standards. Those reporters who remain will be under more pressure than ever to chain themselves to their desk and churn out copy.

Some PROs might be licking their lips at the prospect of feeding these hungry hacks reams of press releases, but our opponents will be thinking exactly the same thing.

L&Q manages 60,000 affordable homes and we receive more than our fair share of criticism.

These critics are only too happy to provide long quotes and pose for pictures - thereby filling a page in the local newspaper.

When we make genuine mistakes we hold up our hands, but many of the accusations made about us are grossly exaggerated, completely skewed or simply not true.

When the reporters call for a quote, you can almost hear the anxiety in their voice, praying that you don't rebuff the story because it will mean they have to conjure up another page lead.

Increasingly, there are occasions when we are not even contacted for a comment.

The idea that more reporting posts will soon be cut should not only frighten journalists, it should frighten all of us who have to deal with them.

- James Howell, communications officer, London & Quadrant Housing Trust (L&Q).

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in