"Hertford & Ware" Mercury

Clubs and societies, neighbourhood and social issues
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Project Leader
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Joined: Wed 06 Nov, 2013 12:01 am

Re: "Hertford & Ware" Mercury

Post by Steve » Sun 30 Apr, 2017 3:09 am

Worth a chuckle ...


On a more serious note, there are plenty of articles out there about how Trinity Mirror are killing local reporting

Local newspaper content too full of listicles and clickbait - lecturer
https://www.theguardian.com/media/green ... t-lecturer

Sacked reporter takes on Trinity Mirror in Cornwall with upmarket paid-for website
http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/sacked-re ... r-website/

Subbing hub move sees 78 Trinity Mirror regional newspaper journalists face redundancy
http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/trinity-m ... tal-roles/
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leo densian
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Re: "Hertford & Ware" Mercury

Post by leo densian » Sun 30 Apr, 2017 8:15 am

The copy I have got this week features a big piece on page 3 regarding the fortunes of the Harvey Centre and the ads at the bottom contain 01279 phone numbers. Closer inspection reveals that the ident at the top of the page actually reads 'Star'.

The corresponding other half page 86 is also from the Star and contains the legal road closure notices for Essex CC and small ads. There's a pair of line dancing shoes up for grabs in Chelmsford if anyone's interested :roll:
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Re: "Hertford & Ware" Mercury

Post by commentator » Thu 04 May, 2017 12:32 pm

Front page story on this week's 'Hertford and Ware' Mercury (April 4) is from Hoddesdon! If Mercury reporters are unable to find a story from Hertford or Ware that is worthy of a place on the front page of the 'local' edition then perhaps they should consider whether they are in the right job.
Sniffer Dog
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Re: "Hertford & Ware" Mercury

Post by Sniffer Dog » Fri 05 May, 2017 5:07 pm

Tot up of stories from Hertford and Ware on each page of this week's 'Hertford and Ware' edition;
Page 1: None
Page 2: 4 of the ten listings
Page 3: 1 (man wins a prize shocker)
Page 4: 1 (vaguely related to Hertford)
Page 5: None
Page 6: None
Page 7: None
Page 8: None
Page 9: None
Actually can't be bothered to continue...but you get the idea.
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Re: "Hertford & Ware" Mercury

Post by jasmine98 » Sat 06 May, 2017 5:22 pm

We used to have a standing order for The Mercury for many years, but decided that it was no longer good value for money as it contained very little current local news. It would appear from comments on here that it is now much worse and no longer can it be regarded as our local paper. Now the same applies to the on-line version, it is impossible to read anything without constant interruption from irrelevant advertisements, and that is even when we do get anything local covered! Waste of time.
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Re: "Hertford & Ware" Mercury

Post by commentator » Sun 07 May, 2017 11:17 am

On the basis of the figures posted by Sniffer Dog, isn't the Mercury in danger of breaching trading standards laws as it clearly states on the front page of the "local" edition that it is for "Hertford, Ware and the surrounding areas"? And as it is now no longer fit for purpose, aren't people who fork out £1 to read news of no local interest entitled to a refund?
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Re: "Hertford & Ware" Mercury

Post by Golden » Mon 08 May, 2017 9:32 am

I stopped reading it years ago when I realised that if I picked it up while waiting in a supermarket queue I could read all of the relevant stuff before they were ready to check my goods. The online is nearly as bad with all of the pop ups and I've installed an adblocker to cope with this paper alone - I realise that online media has to have adverts but they were taking it to a ridiculous extent with 25+ adverts on each page so I decided to block.

To be honest there isn't a lot happening in Hertford and surrounds - follow the local police pages, local councillors and a few others on twitter and you'll get all the local news - follow some of the local pages on Facebook and you'll get all the gossip if you want it.To be fair this is where the Mercury gets all of its 'news' from anyway.
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Re: "Hertford & Ware" Mercury

Post by commentator » Fri 12 May, 2017 9:59 am

Surprise, surprise, this week's 'Hertford and Ware' Mercury is once again ignoring Hertford and Ware. Front page is a large and unimaginative picture of election candidates (yawn) followed on the next few pages by stories from Cheshunt, Waltham Cross and the ESSEX town of Waltham Abbey. Pathetic.
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Re: "Hertford & Ware" Mercury

Post by commentator » Thu 01 Jun, 2017 3:15 pm

Once again pages 1, 3, 4 & 5 of the Hertford and Ware Mercury have little to report about Hertford or Ware. Isn't it about time the "editor" took the trouble to come on here and explain why this once popular newspaper is now an irrelevance to people living here. Over to you Alan Woods.
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Re: "Hertford & Ware" Mercury

Post by mattinhertford » Wed 14 Jun, 2017 1:33 pm

Just to put a slightly different pov on this. I think its important to point out that the Mercury (and its parent company) are trying to operate on a significantly reduced revenue if you compare back in the day (15 years ago) to now, and that this is bound to have an effect on the quality of the product (reporting etc).

The Mercury used to sell just under 34,000 copies in 2000, and now sells just under 11,000 so the publisher has had to deal with a huge drop in cover price revenue. Plus, the big hit came to the newspaper industry with the likes of Ebay, Rightmove, and Reed etc. Basically the internet took the classified advertising revenue (cars, jobs, homes) which was the cash cow of the local newspaper industry.

As the classified advertising moved, then naturally we, the readers, moved too and started not buying the paper when we wanted to buy a new car/house, or find a new job, because we knew we just had to look online....for free!! I'm sure there are two schools of thought around which came first...1) reduced quality of reporting leading to less readers, or 2) less readers leading to reduced revenue leading to the need to reduce quality....although I'm sure no one said "lets reduce the quality of the paper to save costs"....it was probably more along the lines of "we need to reduce our cost base so lets have one reporter cover this patch instead of 3, and lets bring in more of that syndicated editorial stuff from Head Office because we don't need to pay reporters to start from scratch" etc etc.

Unfortunately we can all get all the free news we want these days (numerous places online, numerous apps etc) so people are buying less newspapers (applies to the nationals as well as the locals) and this trend is highly unlikely to reverse. As the world is a smaller place, and we can access news from all over the world, then people literally have less time, and are less interested, in their local news. Plus the amount of time that gets sucked up by Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter etc.

Waffled on a bit there, but my pov is that the local newspaper industry used to be king, the only place to go for local news and local classified, but now its not, its at the bottom of the pile and no one is buying papers anymore, so without the £££ investment (from cover price or ad revenue), then quality (of coverage etc) is bound to be affected. It's like complaining the local shop is closing and then realising you haven't bought anything from it in 6 months!

It'll be a sad day when the local news industry closes, local reporting plays an important role in holding local companies/politicians to account in the public interest (investigative reporting etc) as well as a great place to bring the community together.

Full disclosure: I don't work for the Mercury, or any local publishers, but have worked in marketing for 25 years and have had many dealings with the local news industry, and have seen the change from a commercial pov.

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