The National Union of Journalists has called for assurances from newspaper bosses over the future of a Midlands daily following a series of staff cutbacks.
The Nottingham branch of the NUJ has sent a joint letter to Mel Cook, new editor of the Nottingham Post and Steve Auckland, chief executive of Northcliffe Media raising concerns about the reduction in the number of journalists at the title.
Picture editor Steve Mitchell has become the latest senior member of staff to leave the newspaper, and is not being replaced.
It follows the non-replacement earlier this year of deputy editor Steve Fletcher who left to edit the Lincolnshire Echo, assistant editor Martin Biddle, and two sports desk staff who also left.
Diana Peasey, the chair of the Nottingham NUJ branch said it was unclear whether the paper will continue as a daily title.
Said Diana: “The NUJ has asked both Mel Cook and Steve Auckland to update us on what is going to happen to the paper. In a city which has no other local daily, it is absolutely vital that the Post continues as a daily.
“Because of the cutbacks staff are working very long hours without any breaks. Shambolic and chaos is an understatement. What is worse is that no-one knows what is going on or those in the know aren’t saying.
“The Post is indebted to its staff for keeping the paper going at the moment and to treat them like this is unacceptable.”
The union has also made a submission to the Office of Fair Trading on the Northcliffe proposal to take over the Nottingham Topper, questioning whether now is the most appropriate time to lodge a take-over bid.
Said Diana: “We have said we want the Topper to survive as a successful weekly and we want conditions imposed on the Post that the Topper will remain in operation.
“If Northcliffe can’t guarantee that then we would be opposed to the sale and suggest another buyer is brought in.”
Northcliffe Media has so far declined to respond publicly to the union’s comments but Nottingham publisher Steve Hollingsworth has sent them a private letter in response. The OFT is due to announce a decision on the Topper deal on 22 May.