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First it loses its magistrates court: now Woking is losing its long-running newspaper, the News and Mail.

http://www.woking.co.uk/article/387/After+117+years,+News+%26+Mail+set+to+close

The News and Mail was left and dry when its owner, the Guardian newspaper group, sold off all its other regional titles but was unable to dispose of the News and Mail as well to Trinity Mirror, because of competition rules.  Now, after trying to find another buyer for this isolated title GNM says it will have to close it down.  It’s a great shame. The News and Mail turned into a very good tabloid a few years ago, packed with news, and even when it decamped to Guildford still had its finger on the local pulse. This will also mean the disappearance of the Woking Review freesheet,  which was always a cut above other local giveways. The final edition of the News and Mail contained a report that Woking’s increasingly-autocratic CEO said during a council debate that he was “disgusted” by a Lib Dem councillor’s comment that spending might have to be reined back on the facelift for Wolsey Walk. Rightly or wrongly, the councillor was reflecting a lot of residents’ fears about Woking council’s increasing levels of debt. In my day as a local reporter  – admittedly many, many days ago – it would be unheard for a paid official of the council to talk to an elected representative in such a way. I see that this week the unfeasibly-big Surrey Advertiser – think about turning yourself into a tabloid, chaps, it’s much easier to read – has launched a new Woking area edition. Let’s hope they will continue to report the wit and wisdom of Woking’s council officials as assiduously as the News and Mail did.

One Comment

  1. A real shame to see another local newspaper go to the wall, but not an altogether unique situation as this industry tries to adapt to the new on-demand, free digital age. Printing newspapers is an expensive business, but I’m sure there will be enough, albeit lower journalistic quality, free sheets to flood the letterboxes of Woking borough in the absence of the Mail. I hope the newspaper archives are preserved so future researchers will have a good glimpse of the changes, concerns and celebrations of the people of Woking through the 60s, 70s, 80s and 1990s, when the News & Mail was still a relevent local institution.


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