A group of Johnston Press newspapers is set to be left without any staff photographers after a review of how photographic content is generated.
All photographers will soon be leaving the company’s Midlands publishing unit, most taking an enhanced voluntary redundancy package, with a small number facing compulsory redundancy.
HTFP reported in November that photographers in some areas of the Midlands and Scotland were at risk of compulsory redundancy as a result of the content review.
The company has now confirmed it will have no staff photographers for titles across its Midlands publishing division, which includes newspapers in Lincolnshire, Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire.
Johnston Press has not confirmed the number of photographers leaving the company but said most had taken an enhanced voluntary redundancy package, which was on offer across most areas of the business in the latter part of 2013.
There are understood to be fewer than ten compulsory redundancies among the photographic staff affected.
A spokeswoman for Johnston Press said: “All photographers will soon be leaving titles within the Midlands region following a review – at local level – of the way photographic content is generated.
“Most photographers have taken an enhanced voluntary redundancy package. A small number of photographic positions were placed at risk and final consultation is underway with those likely to be affected.”
A source told HTFP that five staff photographers would be leaving Northamptonshire Newspapers by the end of March, two currently based in Kettering at the Northants Telegraph and three in Northampton, at the Chronicle and Echo.
He said the papers would instead rely on freelance photographers, along with increasing use of submitted pictures from readers and reporters taking photos on their phones.
When the plans were first revealed, the National Union of Journalists claimed that 24 photographers were at risk in Scotland and the Midlands, but JP has not confirmed the exact number affected.
It is understood that some of the photographers whose roles are being axed may be re-employed by the company on a freelance basis.