Post & Sale

Woo! Home before 8pm! A rare treat…

Over the past 24 hours I have been pondering the best way to blog about the fact that yesterday the sale of my paper was unannounced.

As a journalist interested in the media landscape of the West Midlands, it would feel ludicrous not to mention that it happened… particularly as the story involves my employer.

But, then again, I think it would probably be wise to avoid any personal analysis… particularly as the story involves my employer.

Suffice to say, the times they are a’changing. I’d be interested in your views on the subject (including the move to Fort Dunlop) and am happy to put straight any misconceptions where I think I can.

But there are also other changes afoot that are closer to home and that I feel a little more comfortable talking about.

As of Monday my role at the paper is changing. Up until now I have been a full-time business reporter covering general news and managing the media & marketing and enterprise pages.

My new position will span both news and business and my mission (which I have chosen to accept) is to focus on stories related to the creative industries and sustainability. A strange mix, you may think. But there are many things that link the topics, including the fact the both are big interests of mine.

It’s a new role and I’m determined to do it justice. So if there’s anyone that feels there’s a gap in what we’re doing with these sectors, then let me know – I’ll be trying my best to fill it.

In the meantime, I’m off to make the most of a quiet night in with a long soak in the tub!

4 thoughts on “Post & Sale

  1. how is the general feeling from the people who live generally on the south side of the city about the doubling of their daily commute times ?

  2. Hi Simon,

    Just to let you know, I started writing a response to you last night, but didn’t manage to post it (Zonealarm is doing strange things to my internet connection). It’s at home on my laptop and I will upload it tonight.

    However, the short answer to your question is: I know of no person of sound mind that would be happy if their commute to work was extended.

    As someone who lives on the south side of the city and who likes to cycle to work, this includes me.

    However, I think there are some interesting points about new technology and public transport provision that need to be raised.

    It is these issues that I’ve burbled on about in my other post that is on my laptop at home.

    Apologies. I hope you’ll bear with my technical incompetence until tonight?

  3. Right! I’ve finally given up and disabled Zonealarm (can anyone reccommend a reliable and free firewall?)

    Anyway, Simon:

    I know that to get to the Fort my journey times will increase. That’s not fun, but that will happen. For some, it will shorten their commute – you win some, you lose some.

    But, I think there are two other important issues related to the change:

    The first is that, with modern technology, is there always going to be a need for people to commute into the office? I think it is feasible to conceive a situation where some staff will be able to use mobile technology in order for them to work from other locations.

    On the stock exchange announcement it is suggested that P&M will now benefit from a “technology-led operating model”. There is also a story that will appear in the Post’s Media & Marketing page on Monday that hints that P&M will want more journalists out and about. I don’t know what the exact plans are but there seems to be some strong indications that there will be investment in new technology.

    The second is that, with other firms moving to Fort Dunlop and the increasing number of business parks and ‘clusters’ popping up on the periphery of the city (and outside of the main public transport routes), there seems to be a wider question of how to offer these developments sustainable transport provision.

    Birmingham’s bus and train routes currently work remarkably well for those who live in the suburbs and commute into the city centre to work. But, they are pretty pants for any other type of journey and it is difficult to imagine any cost-effective way of providing an alternative to the car for these new sites.

    An additional problem is that P&M – just as logistics and manufacturing – runs shifts, and some of these are unsocial hours. Is there a pattern of public transport provision that would cope with this and be affordable in the long term?

    I know this is something that is occupying the thoughts of a number of bodies responsible for overseeing economic development in the region – let’s hope they come up with some decent solutions.

    There is talk about the Fort providing a shuttle bus service from the city centre, not just for P&M but for all workers at the site. But I don’t know what times this will operate or how frequent it will be.

    Obviously it’s in the interests of P&M that their staff can get into work, one way or another. Suffice to say that we have until late summer 2008 to figure it all out, so I guess there’s going to be a lot of transport planning ahead!

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