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Editors take on new roles in latest ‘newsroom of the future’ reshuffle

BarryPA group of seven weekly editors have taken on a series of new roles as regional publisher Johnston Press continues to roll out its “Newsroom of the Future” initiative.

Barry Peters, left, whose role as editor of the Bury Free Press and group editor of JP’s Anglia division¬† had been at risk of redundancy, has taken on a new region-wide role as communities content editor.

The move is part of an extensive reshuffle among the publisher’s East Midlands and East Anglia titles which sees seven editor roles reduced to three and four new roles created.

Paul Richardson, previously editor of the Grantham Journal, takes over Barry’s old role as Free Press editor and is now in overall charge of all JP’s titles in Norfolk and Suffolk, with Lynn News editor Mark Leslie as his deputy.

Peterborough Telegraph editor Mark Edwards now has additional responsibility for the Journal as well as the Stamford Mercury and Melton Times.

And Stephen Stray, editor of the Standard series in Boston, Sleaford, Skegness and Spilsby, adds the Louth and Mablethorpe Leader, Horncastle News and Market Rasen Mail to his portfolio, with Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian editor Jeremy Ransome as his deputy.

Paul Fisher, who had previously edited the Leader, News and Mail, moves into a new region-wide role as digital editor.

There are not thought to have been any redundancies as a result of the changes affecting the East Midlands and Anglia divisions.

The “newsroom of the future” scheme, which was initially piloted in the North Midlands and South Yorkshire, has seen journalists working across multiple titles within certain geographic regions.

Steve StrayIt is now being phased in across the UK by the company, with a restructure in the South Midlands having already taken place.

Stephen, pictured left,  took to Twitter to post about his new role on Thursday.

He wrote: “Very proud to be fully in my new role as group editor of JP’s Lincolnshire titles. We’ve got great teams producing fab papers and websites.”

JP originally confirmed it was in consultation with Barry over his future last October.

As well as the Free Press, he also edited the Diss Express, Suffolk Free Press, Haverhill Echo, Newmarket Journal and Mildenhall Journal, all of which will now come under Paul’s leadership.

15 comments

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  • May 20, 2015 at 8:41 am
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    “Put that blue stripy deckchair over there… that red one there… and I think the green one should go just here. There… we’ve all got a lovely view of the ocean now as we cruise to our final destination.”

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  • May 20, 2015 at 9:34 am
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    “Ah Carruthers, how’s life at the top as editor of the Oxdown Gazette, you look pleased as punch?”

    “Well only this morning I was sent a text telling me I’ve just been given an exciting new region-wide role as communities content editor.”

    “Oh that really does sound exciting old boy. Must go!”

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  • May 20, 2015 at 9:40 am
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    I have to agree with Dick. I work in one of these newsrooms of the future. It honestly feels like these are the death throes for our newspapers. We are just a skeleton staff really. It is extremely sad.

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  • May 20, 2015 at 10:58 am
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    Blimey.

    The Grey Cardigan’s fabled “child in a suit” lives!

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  • May 20, 2015 at 11:46 am
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    Ah yes, ‘the newsroom of the future': aka Costa, Starbucks, Caffe Nero… [continued on P.94]

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  • May 20, 2015 at 12:26 pm
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    My once respected highly popular weekly which once had about 25 people in the building now has no staff at all based in the area it serves. I am fed up fielding complaints from readers that it is superficial and lacks background knowledge. Only a fool or a JP accountant would consider this progress.
    The dramatic decline of once-proud and profitable papers is truly saddening but we’d better get used to it. Digital is here to stay, at least until the next light bulb lights up.

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  • May 20, 2015 at 1:36 pm
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    Newsroom of the future!

    You can add that one to the Friday Funnies now!

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  • May 20, 2015 at 1:41 pm
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    Worried hack, to be the fair the friendly local JP accountants who used to count the money (there were two or three at my last weekly paper office) are all gone, too, purged in the name of centralisation just like the journalists and the ad people. The bean counters were local and took a keen interest in the workings of their local paper and its place in the community – and kept a forensic eye on my exes as if it was their own money. Never thought I would say those were the days but…..

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  • May 20, 2015 at 1:44 pm
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    I started my career at the Standard and to think that the editor is now in charge of all those papers is beyond belief.
    There’s no way you can actually edit all those in one go. You spread the jam thinly and eventually it becomes tasteless!

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  • May 20, 2015 at 1:49 pm
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    As former news editor of the Stamford Mercury and executive editor of the Lincolnshire Standard Group, I know the patches that two journalists are now “responsible” for. We employed editors in eight Lincolnshire towns and they knew the people they (hang on here this is a strange word) “served.” It takes an hour to get from Peterborough to Melton Mowbray and an hour and half from Spalding to Mablethorpe. Anyway, who cares? Clearly Johnston Press don’t. But they should know that their “Newsroom of the Future” actually covers the same square miles as the Newsroom of the Past.

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  • May 20, 2015 at 2:33 pm
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    I work for JP in an editorial role and nobody has explained properly who is doing what. I find out more on the HTFP website than I do on our virtually-useless staff newsletter ‘The Word’.

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  • May 20, 2015 at 6:10 pm
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    I’ve got socks that look older than Stephen.

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  • May 22, 2015 at 11:32 am
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    JP continues it’s drive to be a company focussed solely on generating enough money to pay an ever increasing salary to the CEO and pay off the Tim Bowdler black hole of debt. The readers are almost forgotten really. A dangerous thing to take your eyes off the consumer as they will surely walk away too.

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  • May 23, 2015 at 9:53 am
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    Give it a few months and young Stephan will look as old as the rest of us.

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  • May 26, 2015 at 3:29 pm
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    Pity the poor journos who now cover weekends for ‘the group’ you could be sitting at home when a fire breaks out two counties and 100 miles away and you are expected to sort it – online first of course, with pictures and a video. And Twitter. And Facebook. How frighteningly futuristic for them – assuming they even know what they’re supposed to be doing first. Enjoy.

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