"Hertford & Ware" Mercury

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Steve
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Re: "Hertford & Ware" Mercury

Postby Steve » Wed 14 Jun, 2017 4:38 pm

I don't think anyone would dispute the points you make, mattinhertford.

The point I would make is that Trinity Mirror is hastening the demise of the local press by their behaviour - dressing up a regional paper as a local one, using unqualified schoolboy journalists, publishing lazy content (listicles anyone?) and a website that drives people away by swamping them with advertisements.

See the links I posted earlier above.

SloopJohnB
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Re: "Hertford & Ware" Mercury

Postby SloopJohnB » Wed 14 Jun, 2017 9:12 pm

Can only agree with Steve. Not a lot of people know this but I started my professional career with London's No.2 advertising agency back in the mid 1960s. I was a media buyer mostly TV but owing to a big overhaul all media was included for each buyer so I spent as much time with newspapers and magazines and realise the importance of advertising in the print industry. However the industry has gone into overkill as far as the on line sector goes.

Back in about 2007 the Mercury was a good local paper even including that much maligned reporter Raymond Brown who used to ring me up on Monday mornings and ask me what was going on. I told him that I usually waited for Fridays to read all about it in the Mercury. Then the owners decided to be a friendly, happy, clappy people paper concentrating on grannies knitting mile long scarves for the local scout group's trip to Loch Ness. One by one the reporters left. They entered journalism for the hard news - the investigative bit - and the Mercury wasn't that kind of paper anymore.

There is plenty of local news and controversy worth reporting but this is not the prime directive anymore. It is syndicated stuff and block PR releases from charities and companies with no local connection. My old English teacher would have rendered today's efforts unreadable with 'sp', 'gr' and 'p' scrawled all over the page - spelling, grammar and punctuation to you. This drop in standards is equally frustrating as the bombardment of pop ups, pop overs, video links and custom questionnaires to the modern on line reader.

Then there is the difference between distribution, paid for sales and readership. You and me buying this week's copy is not worth much but one paper in the local pub may get lots of readers. The copy in the Old Barge is usually well thumbed by the time I get to rescue it from underneath the daily news.

People still stop me in the street and ask me about all sorts of things. I mention that I am retired but it makes no difference; they just bang on like the old chap who wanted me to expose the state of the public toilets. If the local reporter made a point of dropping in once a week to most shops they'd have plenty of copy. Then ring up local politicians who can't or will not comment on anything and you have a story. A few used to offer a quote with one well chosen word - or two even. Shackled by their masters voice.That is not the way it works any more. Boring paper means no advertising - obvious but true.

People like controversy and I still hold the accolade of being the first and so far only person to be quoted using the word 'goolies' in print. If you read my comments about parking charges you will see that there is no opposition, not even from the fourth estate and there is no humour any more. Even worse. No more will I see 'John laughed' in print and get strange phone calls from Wallfields.

commentator
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Re: "Hertford & Ware" Mercury

Postby commentator » Thu 15 Jun, 2017 12:10 pm

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.
Rant over.

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leo densian
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Re: "Hertford & Ware" Mercury

Postby leo densian » Thu 15 Jun, 2017 9:03 pm

I apologise for the content of this but it needs to be said...

I still buy a Mercury most weeks (God knows why) but there it is.

Today's H&W edition featured a big piece regarding the rape of a poor 16 yr old in Waltham Cross (I'll let the location of the story pass). There's an old adage in public speaking about telling people what you are going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you've told them - good God, does this article ever do that.

I case there was any doubt, when the victim came round after the attack she was dressed only in her bra and jeans - we know this because the article tells us on multiple occasions.

Also repeated references to oral sex, hands inside underware and ejaculation.

I'm no prude by any means but this is some of the most apallingly salacious garbage I've ever read. I will not even reference the name of the 'author' (aka scumbag) but I hope that he and the editorial team may reflect on how the family of the victim might be feeling if they had the misfortune to read it.

I only hope they are hanging their bloody heads in shame, but somehow doubt it

Thats me and the Mercury done now - as they say on Dragons Den, I'm out.

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Steve
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Re: "Hertford & Ware" Mercury

Postby Steve » Tue 20 Jun, 2017 6:40 pm


commentator
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Re: "Hertford & Ware" Mercury

Postby commentator » Mon 07 Aug, 2017 12:00 pm

Once again this week's Hertford and Ware Mercury front page story is about Hoddesdon. Pathetic, lazy journalism. You get more Hertford news in the Welwyn and Hatfield Times . . . and it is better written.

SloopJohnB
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Re: "Hertford & Ware" Mercury

Postby SloopJohnB » Mon 07 Aug, 2017 12:56 pm

Read all about it!! Today's scoop - Aldi submit planing application. And they still cannot accurately quote from and comment on the full list of documents which Steve and myself have discussed at length elsewhere.

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Re: "Hertford & Ware" Mercury

Postby commentator » Sat 19 Aug, 2017 10:51 am

I have been told by someone who works at the Mercury that Trinity Mirror has just announced it is making the MD redundant so the writing is on the wall. Perhaps it would be a good idea for the reporters to dust off their CVs.

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Steve
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Re: "Hertford & Ware" Mercury

Postby Steve » Sat 19 Aug, 2017 12:13 pm

commentator wrote:I have been told by someone who works at the Mercury that Trinity Mirror has just announced it is making the MD redundant so the writing is on the wall. Perhaps it would be a good idea for the reporters to dust off their CVs.

It's the regional MD that's been made redundant. The Central & Eastern region is being merged with the South East region.

http://www.holdthefrontpage.co.uk/2017/ ... l-changes/

JohnSmith
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Re: "Hertford & Ware" Mercury

Postby JohnSmith » Wed 23 Aug, 2017 8:21 pm

It just gets worse and worse. They are currently reporting that police have shut off a section of the A10 between Welwyn Garden City and Stevenage.


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