A group of newspapers in South London are now without professional photography coverage after an agency partnership ended, the National Union of Journalists has claimed.
The NUJ says Newsquest has ended a decade-long agreement with Deadlinepix to cover news and sport across its South London titles.
There are currently no staff photographers working on the newspapers.
The union’s claims come as staff at the titles are being balloted over possible industrial action for the second time in a little over a year.
According to the NUJ, costs at Newsquest’s Sutton newsroom, where the affected papers are produced, have fallen by more than £350,000 as departing reporters and news editors have not been replaced.
A spokesman for Newsquest South London’s NUJ chapel said: “We’re really worried that when tell people, ‘I’m afraid we don’t have photographers any more,’ it will damage our papers’ standing on patches they’ve represented for up to 162 years.”
Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, added: “Journalists on these titles are balloting for industrial action over inadequate staffing levels, excessive workloads, reduced quality of newspapers, the health and safety of employees, plus pay.
“Newsquest’s disgraceful behaviour is alienating staff and readers alike. Good quality pictures are central to the long term, sustainable success of any publication. Taking a hatchet to costs over and over again is not a strategy worth the name.”
HTFP has approached Newsquest South London for a comment.