Under the proposal, revealed in an announcement to staff by editor in chief Ian Murray, left, the picture desk at the Echo’s Redbridge base would cease to exist in its present form with the emphasis for images shifting from staff photographers to freelancers, other staff members and user generated content.
As a result, the present picture editor and deputy picture editor roles are at risk of redundancy.
At the same time the post of user generated content editor would be created to oversee the “central content gathering” operation for Newsquest’s Hampshire titles.
The news comes less than a fortnight since it was revealed that three weekly editor roles at Newsquest titles in the county would be cut.
Keith Redbourn, editor of the Winchester-based Hampshire Chronicle and Romsey Advertiser chief Andrew Ross are set to be made redundant, while the vacant seat left by Mark Jones at the Basingstoke will not be replaced.
Ian will now have editorial responsibility for all three titles.
In the latest announcement, Ian said: “Due to the proposed advancement and investment of technology for the editorial department in Newsquest Hampshire at some point in the future there are expected to be changes to the manner in which the editorial department operates.
“It is proposed to create a central content gathering operation for all the Hampshire titles.
“As part of these proposals if they are accepted functions on the main news and content desk will change.
“It is proposed as part of these proposed changes that the picture desk will no longer exist in its present form and its functions will become part of the altered main news and content desk.
“If accepted the proposals would see the emphasis for images shift to less staff photographers and more use of freelances, user generated content and images provided by other staff members.
“If accepted these proposals will mean the roles of picture editor and deputy picture editor at the Newsquest Hampshire main newsroom at Redbridge will no longer be required.”
A consultation period with affected staff begins today with the outcome being announced on 20 March.