Letter to Sir Ray from George and Giulietta Galli-Atkiinson

We wrote to you in 2008 with concerns about your plans to make changes to our local press that looked to threaten its existence or the quality to which our large communities have been rightly used.

Your response, then, conveyed assurances but because they have fallen short, strike action has been needed; one which we support.

It is our understanding that the request has been for one extra reporter to ease the workload that three reporters are currently being asked to do for nine papers in the Enfield, Barnet and Haringey areas.

Sir Ray, the drop in format standards has been noticed. We have, also, noted the exodus of excellent long standing reporters in whom we had built trust; the kind that had the time to engage with community members, activities and developments; the kind that wanted to turn our papers into real media contenders, and did, by their award wins.

Local papers give local people a voice, sometimes, the only one. They are tools that have their social and political place in free societies like ours and to compromise them is counter to the spirit.

We do want capable and empowered reporters who can build effective papers, to carry the stories and campaigns that matter. To relegate these to somewhere in-between the ads for want of time and personnel is a disservice and not a little insulting.

We very much hope that you will reconsider.

Yours sincerely 

George and Giulietta Galli-Atkiinson

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