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Job swap journos get a new perspective on office life

A new staff exchange scheme is under way at Northcliffe Newspapers to nurture the group’s rising stars.

A trial of the system at daily and weekly papers in the group shows journalists how key activities are carried out in other newsrooms.

The idea of working in a new environment is to increase their knowledge base, encourage their skills and retain valuable talent within the group.

The initiative involves the Derby Evening Telegraph, Hull Daily Mail and Evening Express in Aberdeen, and the weekly Tamworth Herald, Carmarthen Journal and Brentwood Gazette.

Each newspaper sends a member of its editorial staff to another title of similar size within the group, where they spend a week observing the way the newspaper works, from planning through to deadline, and also hosts a visit from a representative from another of the papers taking part.

During the triangular secondments visitors compare and contrast key activities ranging from diary forward planning, news lists and follow-up structures, to the use of pictures and side bars and staff briefings.

Colin Davison, managing director of Gloucestershire Media and editorial advisor for Northcliffe, said the scheme was introduced in response to feedback from editors across the group.

He said: “One of the long standing issues within the regional press is how to retain talented senior journalists.

“Another issue which emerged from talking to editors was, in some areas, a lack of talented candidates coming forward to become news editors.

“The aim of this initiative is to tackle both these issues while recognising some of rising stars within the group.”

Following the trial Northcliffe plans to open up the scheme to all the newspapers within the group early next year.

Once the exchanges are complete a workshop will be held for those involved to share their experiences.

Good practice guides will then be compiled and posted on the group’s intranet.

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