Save City Life!

City Life: It’s  Manchester. Read it. Live itI’ve spent some of this afternoon listening to BBC GMR and discovering that afternoon DJ Phil Wood is very Alan Partridge. But it’s not his show I’ve tuned in for but Michelle Daniel’s drive-time news programme to hear NUJ Northern Organiser Miles Barter do a great job of launching the campaign to save City Life.

I’ve not always been nice to City Life, but the magazine’s improved a lot recently and not just because they commissioned me to write for them. Should local print media monopolist Guardian Media Group close City Life, the city’s media and cultural scenes will have been dealt a body blow.

City Life is one of the city’s most important media outlets. Editorially it stands out of the GMG crowd. The Manchester Evening News concentrates on the concerns of the curmudgeonly over 60s with campaigns against public art. The columns of its sister weekly free sheet, the Metro News, are populated by whingers and another sister paper, the South Manchester Reporter, rages against the bars and restaurants that mark Manchester’s cosmopolitan success. It’s like everyone wants to write for the Daily Mail and really, really hate where they live. Which is rather sad.

City Life is a breath of fresh air because it celebrates Manchester, its many successes and the regeneration that has brought real prosperity and quality of life to the region. It plays a vital role in spreading the word on the cultural events that make the city special and provides the vital oxygen of publicity to organisers of those events. Mark Dodson is the chief executive of Guardian Media Regional and the man to bug (politely of course). To see what I sent him click: mark.dodson@men-news.co.uk and, if you like, hit send. (If you send your own e-mail, please cc nujmanchester@nuj.org.uk.)
Update: City Life to close… as Guardian Media Group downsizes

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