The post by mattinhertford makes interesting reading. As someone who has been involved in the advertising industry for several years I think it is safe to say that most of the regional press is in terminal decline. However, I do not believe that is a valid excuse for the Mercury trying to pull the wool over the eyes of its readers by claiming to be something it clearly is not and I for one refuse to be treated as a mug.
Why does it still print four editions (Hertford & Ware, Cheshunt & Waltham, Hoddesdon & Broxbourne and Buntingford & Royston) claiming to be the local paper for those towns yet run the same stories through all editions? And surely if the circulation figure of 11,000 for a newspaper that covers the whole of the borough of Broxbourne and a large part of East Herts is correct, alarm bells must be ringing at Trinity Mirror HQ.
In addition, the standard of reporting is shocking. It seems the people who compile these stories (can they be called journalists?) have only a basic grasp of grammar while stories on its website, if you can be bothered to fight your way through all the pop-up ads, are often littered with errors.
It is interesting that no-one from the Mercury has responded to the criticisms on this forum, the silence has been deafening. I can only assume they either don't read it or they are too ashamed.