East Antrim newspaper closures a ‘blow’ to community, says NUJ

The 131-year-old ‘Carrickfergus Advertiser’ is one of two titles to cease publication

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has expressed dismay at Alpha Newspaper Group's decision to cease publication of two local newspapers in Northern Ireland, the 131-year-old Carrickfergus Advertiser and the Ballyclare Gazette.

The union described the move as “a major blow to local community life” in the East Antrim region. Editorial and advertising staff were told on Wednesday that the titles would publish for the final time this week, with the loss of eight jobs.

NUJ president Barry McCall said the announcement “marked another sad chapter in the history of regional journalism”.

The Carrickfergus Advertiser was founded in 1883, and was acquired by the Alpha Group in 1991, the same year that the Ballyclare Gazette was founded.


Some 25 jobs were lost in 2010 when Alpha Newspapers closed three local newspapers in the Republic - the Roscommon Champion, the Longford News and the Athlone Voice - following a collapse in advertising revenues.LAURA SLATTERY

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics