NEWS that the Oldham Evening Chronicle has gone into administration will hit Oldham hard. More than a newspaper it is part of our heritage, our community and has worked hard to help build a future for us too.
Observers of the media will have seen the demise of the printed press and with it the cracks in the foundations of our democracy. Freedom of speech is important and it’s aided significantly by quality journalism based on research, facts and balance.
For the 49 staff made redundant the news will be devastating but the tears run further because it was more than a company, it was a family and has been since 1854.
Some elements of the paper may remain. The administrators will be seeking buyers for its assets; including its name. Even if the name is retained its soul will be lost without the dedication of its staff under the leadership of Dave Whaley who fought hard to keep the paper alive as he saw many other local papers go to the wall.
There will be some who will celebrate today. They may have been subjected to a bad headline, a letter unpublished or coverage not given. I don’t because anyone who took the time to give an honest assessment would see that it was more than just a paper. Anyone attending the Pride in Oldham Awards, Oldham Business Awards or Sports Awards would have seen first-hand the difference it made, not to mention its championing of local causes and charities.
Today is a sad day for the Oldham Evening Chronicle, for our town and for journalism.