I have volunteered to leave the Birmingham Post after 21 years

By Jo Ind on Oct 26, 09 02:29 PM in Digital

I have just volunteered to leave a newspaper I love and a job about which I am passionate.

Last week Trinity Mirror, the company that owns the Birmingham Post, announced 41 journalists in the Midlands are to lose their jobs by the end of the year. I am offering to leave as part of the cull.


I want to leave so I can become a writer who is as competent in the digital arena as I currently am in print.

I am in a more fortunate position than many of my colleagues in that I have worked for BPM Media, as it is now known, for 21 years and so my pay-off is relatively comfortable. I can buy myself the time to learn.

My plan is to spend the first few months of next year getting to know how websites are made. I want to learn HTML code. I want to understand FTP, SEO and WBMP format. I want to get canny with the back end of the internet so I can be more effective in the way I use it up front.

I love the internet for its scope, its flexibility, its speed, its diversity and its potential to create community. I'm excited by the way, in theory at least, it makes it possible for anyone to tell his or her story. I came into journalism because I believe in story-telling. The world wide web has made this possible in ways that were unimaginable just 20 years ago. This is a good thing.

Sadly, it is also bringing about the crisis in the media industries which I and my colleagues are finding so painful at the moment. I have no idea what form the media of the future will take. I don't know if Murdoch will prove that readers are happy to pay for newspapers online and thereby rescue not only the Times but the whole newspaper industry.

I can't tell if the Guardian's response of inviting readers to subscribe to a newspaper-based club will turn out to be the business model that rescues all print from terminal decline. I have a sneaky feeling that Clay Shirky might be right when he says saving newspapers is not the answer and the whole edifice needs to come tumbling down before the new journalism - whatever it is - can emerge.

But I have a hunch that whatever form the media of the future is going to take, whether it will be niche and hyperlocal or multi-tasking in multi-media conglomerates, the people who are going to be really useful are those who combine traditional story-telling skills with both a social and technical understanding of the web.

I want to be one of those people. I'm fortunate in having the opportunity to become one. With moist eyes and tender feelings for the team to which I have belonged for almost all my adult life, I have handed in my form....


SackThePanda said:

Good luck Jo
On one hand it is such a shame the paper is losing someone as good as you because of idiotic cost cutting and shortsighted profit drives.
But on the other hand the freedom you will feel, not to mention the health benefits, of stepping out of a dying newsroom to do your own thing will be amazing.
I think your plan to embrace the digital word is a great one.

watch movies online 2k to said:

I like the valuable information you provide in your articles.
I'll bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently. I am quite sure I'll learn a lot of new stuff right
here! Good luck for the next!

world war z full movie hd said:

What's up, after reading this awesome piece of writing i am too cheerful to share my familiarity here with colleagues.

Lifestyle authors

Jo Green and Paul Phedon

Jo Green and Paul Phedon, from S&X Media, are at the London 2012 Olympics working with a series of sporting clients.
My postings

Kevin Finnan

Kevin Finnan, artistic director at Motionhouse, is directing and choreographing the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games.
My postings

Nikki Aaron

Nikki Aaron - English language teacher uncovering life in Beijing
My postings | Nikki Aaron's RSS feed My feed

Michael Clifford

Michael Clifford - Two times BAFTA award-winning film director, living and working in Birmingham.
My postings | Michael Clifford's RSS feed My feed

Peter Shirley

Peter Shirley - A nature conservationist with interests from neighbourhood to global ecological issues.
My postings | Peter Shirley's RSS feed My feed

Richard Saxton

Richard Saxton - Wine writer and blogger based in Birmingham. Founder of
My postings

Kimberley Owen

Kimberley Owen - is editor of and a Senior PR Account Manager at Vital Marketing
My postings

Keep up to date

Sponsored Links