Party in the Rag Market
Plus: Massive redundancies at the company that owns the Birmingham Mail
Good morning readers and welcome to Thursday’s edition of The Dispatch.
Today’s Brum in Brief includes the good news that Walsall hero Noddy Holder is fit and well and updates you on Birmingham City Council’s financial position.
But first – like many others I was sad and frustrated to learn yesterday that Reach Plc, the giant media company which owns The Birmingham Mail/Birmingham Live (as well as the Daily Express, the Daily Mirror and dozens of other titles) has announced yet more redundancies. This is the third round of Reach layoffs this year alone and it comes just as many reporters will be thinking ahead to Christmas and all of the extra outgoings that time of year brings, not to mention their usual bills.
Local media is in need of many improvements but one thing which has to change is this feast/famine approach to hiring. One year companies go all out to bring staff on board and the next they cut resource to the bone. No wonder so many talented reporters are choosing to leave the industry and go for jobs with greater stability. But we need to create conditions which allow people to stay in local journalism.
On that note, I am very pleased to say that we will be looking for a second staff member at The Dispatch in the coming months. I’ll be putting out a proper job advert when we come to it, but I wanted to let you know in case someone reading this is - or knows - a skilled reporter who might want to join me on this exciting adventure. Please do pass the word around or get in touch if that’s you.
Finally, an update on our growth - we’ve passed the 2,500 subscriber mark! This edition is going out to 2,642 lovely readers - 165 more than yesterday morning! It’s hard to believe we have been publishing for a week already. Every day keeps going by so fast because there are so many leads to follow, stories to write, kind messages to respond to and tips coming in. Thank you again for your support in helping us to build a new title for quality reporting. Just hit that button below to share us with friends and colleagues.
Thanks to our brilliant designer Jake Grenhalgh, who has made this collage for our marketing. If you like it, please do share it on social media (just copy and paste) and please also link to our site. You can tag us too: we’re @brumdispatch on Twitter, here on Facebook and we’ve just joined Instagram too! All sharing us hugely appreciated.
Brum in Brief
🍃 Cloud, bright spells, and occasional showers with a bit of breeze throughout the day.
🎉 Walsall legend Noddy Holder remains cancer free his wife Suzan has told the BBC. “Suzan said Holder was ‘Walsall born and bred’ and the Black Country forever remained close to him, with them visiting the area often.”
💰 A report has been published ahead of Birmingham City Council’s cabinet meeting next week which sets out its latest financial position and savings targets. “The precarious financial position the council is in means it is estimated that the council must find savings of £200m over the next two financial years.”
🎈 Possession of nitrous oxide gas is now a legal offence in the UK. Birmingham has one of the highest hospital admissions rates in the country for misuse of the drug but experts have said that toughening the law could have “significant unintended consequences” including “users not seeking medical help”.
🚨 A murder investigation has been launched after the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old boy in Ladywood on Sunday. The boy died in hospital on Tuesday. A 17-year old boy was also arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of attempted murder.
🎨 The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists now stocks products in a new Jewellery Quarter colour palette created by The Colour Palette Company.
🎷 Birmingham Jazz presents the Rory Ingham Sextet at 1000 Trades on Friday at 7.45pm. “This is an exciting new band, also known as ‘Wakey Blakey’, led by Rory Ingham celebrating the music of the legendary Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.”
🎛️ Selextorhood collective is hosting a second DJ workshop in the Bullring Rag Market on Saturday from 12-3pm. “All levels of DJing are welcome and will take place in the fabulously decorated and chilled environment of the Radio Stall”
We’ve jumped up to 25 pledged members — people who have pledged to join as paying members when we launch our paid subs in early December, including Adam quoted above. Huge thanks to all of you, and if you want to pledge, just hit that button below.