The Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle newspaper office is to close down amid plans by parent company Trinity Mirror.

Journalists at the offices, on Victoria Street, Crewe, have been told the closure could take place as early as May.

Trinity Mirror says the decision is an experiment and are asking five journalists affected to “work from the field” and not purely driven by cost cutting.

It’s believed Alastair Machray, editor-in-chief of Trinity Mirror’s North West division, addressed staff about the decision earlier this week.

It was sold as a way to “secure jobs” and control costs, but also allowing reporters to spend more time out and about.

In a statement, a Trinity Mirror spokesman said: “This is a pilot to evaluate how working differently, and utilising available technology can enable us to control costs without reducing the number of journalists we employ.

“We’re harnessing the benefits of mobile technology to allow reporters to work in local markets and remove costly infrastructure.

“We want to invest in journalism not bricks and mortar.”

NUJ Northern and Midlands spokesman Chris Morley said on the NUJ website: “Thriving local journalism is about teamwork and not the atomisation of editorial departments that trap journalists into ‘news prisons’ where they don’t have clear access to support, training and the buzz that comes from working in a newsroom.

“We want the company to demonstrate it is willing to look at all reasonable options to retain a town centre office.

“We believe this will be damaging not only for our members but crucially for the titles they support – and will be badly received by the community they serve. We want the company to demonstrate it is willing to look at all reasonable options to retain a town centre office.”

The Nantwich and Crewe editions of the Chronicle newspaper will continue to be produced and printed out of Trinity’s Chester base.

Figures from 2013 show the Chronicle sold a weekly average of 11,424 copies, a 6.8% drop on the previous year.

In November 2012, it was named as the North West’s top weekly newspaper in the O2 Media Awards.


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