‘People hearing without listening’

“People talking without speaking

People hearing without listening…

‘Fools,’ said I, ‘You do not know  

Silence like a cancer grows.'”

Sound Of Silence  – Paul Simon

That lyric from Paul Simon sums up the situation we are facing at the moment quite aptly. And the sound of silence is deafening.

The Tindle management has “talked” to us by stripping out all of our freelancers, communicating the message that just because it was able to throw together a quite frankly embarrassing excuse for a newspaper while we were out on strike, then we were clearly being lavished with an excess of resources.

They hear but they just don’t listen…

It’s not just about filling the spaces between the adverts with words. It’s an insult to our readers to treat them with such disdain to suppose that they do not care about the depth and accuracy of coverage, but it is clearly a notion that the management endorses. Our MPs, along with all those who have shown their support for us over the past weeks, have stressed the importance of the role of a newspaper as a guardian of local democracy – a means of holding public bodies and businesses to account.

Our readers do care. And so do we – passionately.

But wait. Perhaps I’m being too unfair on the management about its lack of communication. After all, our FOC, Jonathan Lovett, is meeting one of the management team, Peter Edwards, this very Tuesday. So all this talk of not communica…

Sorry? What’s that? Tuesday’s meeting has been scrubbed?  

Management is now refusing to talk to us at all until after the board meeting on June 22. Oh dear. It’s not very good is it?

And as the last line of that Paul Simon lyric puts it: “silence like a cancer grows….”

Meanwhile, envelopes containing ballot papers drop silently onto nine doormats. NUJ members sit at home quietly marking a now-familiar yellow voting paper with the two strokes of a X, pausing perhaps to look up and out at an imaginary horizon, contemplating what might lie along the path ahead…

The Enfield’s Nine’s battle for quality journalism – goes on…

James Lowe

Sub editor and deputy FoC

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