A journalists’ union is calling for an end to targets for the number of online news videos produced at Johnston Press titles.
The National Union of Journalists says weekly titles are being set targets of between six and eight videos a week, which was putting overstretched journalists under pressure.
The issue was raised at a group chapel meeting in Manchester at the weekend, where most NUJ chapels across England and Scotland were represented.
Now the union has written to the regional publisher calling on it to relax the targets and also provide “proper recognition” for the work in journalists’ pay packets.
Deputy general secretary Barry Fitzpatrick said: “The digital work that is being expected is not just video recording. It is the fact that afterwards, you have to edit and format it.
“At the moment, they are setting targets for the amount of videos a week. I have heard as many as six or eight. To make a video, you have got to have something worth filming in the first place.
“I have asked them to only use targets as a guideline and we want to talk to them about proper recognition for the work.”
He added that staff undertaking video work should have extra recognition in the pay deal which is being discussed, which is set to see increases of around £500 for journalists.
Barry said there was a need for further training in video work, including in health and safety because he claimed that journalists were sometimes sent into potentially dangerous situations to film.
He said the meeting had also discussed the pay deal which the union is negotiating with the company about and raised concerns about the company’s voluntary redundancy programme introduced last month in a bid to reduce costs.
Barry is meeting Johnston Press for further talks later this month and this will be followed by another group chapel meeting.
A Johnston Press spokeswoman said: “We await the NUJ’s comments and will engage with them as part of our ongoing dialogue.”