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Eleven subs' jobs at risk in Ulster shake-up

Publisher Johnston Press has confirmed that 11 editorial jobs are at risk as a result of plans to centralise subbing operations across its Northern Irish titles.

The company wants to move the subbing function for all its titles in the province at one centre in Craigavon with a net reduction in 11 posts.

Titles affected by the change include The News Letter, Derry Journal, Donegal Democrat and a number of other weekly papers.

A period of consultation with affected staff has begun and will continue until 30 January 2009.

A company statement said: “We believe these proposals will help secure the long-term future of our titles in a challenging market by achieving efficiencies in the editorial workflow and improving standards of design.

“The reorganisation will also allow our journalists to spend more time on content-gathering increasing our commitment to the communities we serve.”

One local MP, Mark Durkan, has already voiced concern about the production job losses.

“While I understand that the cuts are to affect Johnston Press operations throughout Ulster, it is clear that this will have a disproportionate effect on staff from Derry and Donegal given the plan to centralise this function in Armagh,” he said.

The National Union of Journalists has also released a statement expressing concern about the plans.

“The plans are deeply worrying for many of our members because it would be completely impractical for them to travel to work at Craigavon everyday,” it said.


Dave Ross (15/12/2008 09:14:47)
I’m sincerely sorry for colleagues there. A similar thing is set to happen to JP titles in Hampshire and Sussex. An announcement about centralised subbing was made on December 12. No threat to jobs here though – yet . . .

peter lazenby (15/12/2008 10:03:28)
The editors of the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post were at Johnston Press HQ in Edinburgh for two days last week hearing “presentations” from three firms bidding to take over the papers’ subbing. One of them was PA. They’re calling it “outsourcing.” Our two papers could end up being subbed in Howden in East Yorkshire, or even Mumbai where PA has an operation. Isn’t it time the Johnston Press NUJ Chapels took a joint stand, rather than letting these people pick us off one centre at a time?
Peter Lazenby
Joint FoC
Yorkshire Post/Yorkshire Evening Post.

Chris Youett, Esq, (15/12/2008 16:13:32)
Dear Sir,
Johnson Press is risking the validity of any professional insurance it holds by getting rid of local subs desks.
Subbing pools have been tried – and they don’t work. It is no different from when 999 services tried to move to regional call centres. The same editors who stuck the boot in over these proposals should do the same to their own managements.
It only requires one big libel case to show up the inadequacies of the proposed subbing arrangements – and the cricket score damagesand costs to get it through to media employers how stupid this policy is.
If they really want to raise circulations – and they might – then they need to invest in journalisms.
Yours faithfully,
Chris Youett.