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Union expresses shock over Midlands job losses

The National Union  of Journalists has expressed its shock at the announcement of 76 job losses at the Midlands News Association, publisher of Britain’s biggest regional daily the Express & Star.

As first revealed by HoldtheFrontPage, the company is set to axe 76 posts including 12 editorial roles and is considering moving the Express & Star and Shropshire Star to overnight publication.

The NUJ described the move as a “huge blow to quality journalism” and called on the company to enter talks on the way forward.

It is now in discussions with individual NUJ chapels at the titles affected.

Chris Morley, Northern and Midlands organiser, said: “There is great shock at the timing of this announcement, although our members had been fearful something like this was not far away.

“This is a huge blow, not just in the numbers of people who may lose their jobs but also to quality journalism.

“The two daily papers in Wolverhampton and Shropshire have been the lonely standard bearers for same-day regional newspaper news and sport and had been very successful in that over many years.

“But repeated deep cuts to editorial numbers have critically weakened what they have been able to offer readers by badly overstretching staff.

“The NUJ calls on the company to open talks with unions to find a sustainable way forward. This must be done in a way staff are reassured that directors will not take the discredited path to a cycle of cuts to the core business and then more cuts that drives away still yet more readers and advertisers.

“Any change from same-day publication will require major changes to the way staff work. If the proposals are to be implemented, to work they need to be with the agreement of staff – not by the company putting a gun to employees’ heads.”

There will now be a 45-day consultation period on the company’s proposals.


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  • April 16, 2014 at 11:32 am

    The NUJ can hardly be surprised by this development and its obvious effect on “quality journalism.”
    Over the years we have all witnessed dramatic changes (deterioration) in the way journalists are treated by their employers.
    A simple, but significant, example of this can be gleaned from the way job vacancies are worded these days.
    Much is stated about the myriad skills required of any successful candidate, yet mention of the rewards is either totally omitted or couched in Management Speak.
    As for “quality journalism,” that began to die years ago, along with (and partly created by) poor training, inadequate supervision, dire management and the actions of the “bean counters.”
    It’s being so happy that keeps me going these days!

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  • April 16, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    The only thing that surprised me about this story was that there are still 76 people working at MNA.

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  • April 17, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Quality journalism died a long time ago at the Express and Star.

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  • April 20, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Its unbelievable what is acceptable in local papers now. Loss of more jobs can only lower standards further. Sent in pix and copy will be the norm, as it is in other companies. Only the desperate with big bills to pay and eager kids who think this is real journalism will remain soon. Such a pity.

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