Reporters at two weekly newspapers in Hampshire are facing possible redundancy as a result of plans to streamline newsdesk functions across a series of local centres.
The Newsquest-owned Hampshire Chronicle and Romsey Advertiser have already seen all of their sports reporting, picture and subbing operations moved to the offices of the Southern Daily Echo, in Southampton.
Now there are plans to reduce the number of reporting staff based at both the Chronicle’s Winchester office and in the Advertiser’s Romsey office.
Four reporters are understood to be at risk of redundancy as a result of the proposals.
Keith Redbourn, editor of the Hampshire Chronicle, said: “The sub-editing, sport and picture operations have already been streamlined between Winchester/Romsey and Southampton, and it is now time to look at closer co-operation between the newsdesk functions too.
“If the proposal goes ahead, unfortunately it would lead to a reduction in staff based at the Winchester and Romsey offices, and those affected have been advised that their positions have been put at risk of redundancy.
“However, we hope that any redundancies can be achieved on a voluntary basis, and we have now embarked on a consultation period which ends on September 26.”
regional hack (10/09/2008 10:10:34)
Does that sound familiar to hacks on weeklies across the country. Forget LOCAL news- it’s all going to be centrally controlled by people who have no idea of the patch. Newsquest and JP, amongst others, are leading the way in centralisation.
Will the local offices be re-established and more jobs offered if there is ever a recovery?
Well let’s just say don’t hold your breath.
Latest score: Profit 1 Service to readers 0.
Unhappysnapper (10/09/2008 15:33:59)
I work for Newsquest (Midlands South) and our editorial team has been decimated over the last two years. Our editor, his deputy, the sports ed and subs were all moved to one of these ‘central subbing hubs’ miles away in another town. We used to have a team of five reporters, then it became four and now it’s just three and they struggle to cope with the work load – which has increased unsurprisingly! We’ve suffered other cutbacks too all in the name of company profits and shareholders interests and morale is at an all time low. The sad fact is that the Newsquest bigwigs who make all these decisions have no idea how an editorial office functions and at worst don’t seem to even care.