Farewell, Liberal Democrat News
By Mark Pack
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats
The HQ reshuffle also sees the axing of the party's weekly newspaper, Liberal Democrat News. It has increasingly struggled in the face of twin pressures: higher postage costs making its business model hard to sustain, whilst the speed with which news passes round on the internet made the idea of a weekly publication increasingly unsuitable.
A weekly cycle has become too slow to be a provider of breaking news, whilst also too frequent to allow for much in the way of more reflective and diverse content as the small team was kept so busy simply getting a newspaper out each week.
In 2011, the newspaper made a loss of £43,708. That was a continuation of a regular pattern of loss-making, even with the captive market of advertisement income for parliamentary candidate selections. That advertising income made its overall figures look better but was simply a transfer of money from one part of the party to another
Following the retirement of the newspaper's editor, Deirdre Razzall, it will therefore be replaced with a new party magazine. A new job is already being advertised to produce it.
There are many people in party HQ who have to try to work miracles with sparse resources, especially the party's newspaper team, producing Liberal Democrat News and its predecessors on a shoestring for decades. All the more impressive if you have ever looked at the range of raw materials sent them; the press releases and photos available to choose from have not always been of the best quality, shall we say. Events have, however, overtaken their valiant efforts.