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Reporters to work from home or ‘in the field’ as weekly’s office closes

A weekly newspaper’s office is due to close with staff set to be based “in the field” or at home as a result.

Reach plc has confirmed it will not be renewing the lease on the Carmarthen Journal’s King Street office, pictured, citing a review of “customer footfall” as one of the reasons behind the move.

Reach says the Journal, which was founded in 1810 and is described as the “oldest newspaper in Wales”, will retain a “dedicated weekly town centre presence”.

The company has denied an earlier report that journalists will be based at its Swansea office, 27 miles away, instead.

Carmarthen office

Six Carmarthen Journal staff currently work out of King Street.

The company says its decision to go officeless in the town follows a similar move in Llanelli last year, which has “demonstrated the effectiveness of such an approach”.

A Reach spokesman said: “After a review of our office buildings in Carmarthenshire, we have decided not to renew the lease on our current premises in Carmarthen. This decision has been taken following a review of both customer footfall at our King Street office, and the closure of our Llanelli base last year.

“The new working arrangements in the Llanelli area, where our local reporters are equipped with kit – laptops and iPhones – which allows them to access all our editorial systems from the field, has proved successful.

“Our commitment to Carmarthen will not be affected by this change, and we plan to retain our presence through a dedicated weekly town centre presence, where customers and readers can access our teams for help and advice.

“A similar set-up in Llanelli town centre has already demonstrated the effectiveness of such an approach, which allows our reporters to cover the patch from within the community, using the tools of the modern multimedia publishing world, ensuring they are close to the people and the stories that matter.”

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  • June 13, 2018 at 9:11 am
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    ‘Reach says the Journal, which was founded in 1810 and is described as the “oldest newspaper in Wales”, will retain a “dedicated weekly town centre presence”.’ Brilliant. That’ll mean comprehensive coverage for the town and that “field” then. D’you ever think Reach’s reach is not quite reaching out like it used to?

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  • June 13, 2018 at 10:09 am
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    Reminds me and makes me chuckle about a farcical time at JP when reporters based at an office were issued with mobile phones each and supposed to be “mobile reporters.” out of the office. The problem was they took away pool cars and banned reporters from claiming expenses for using their own cars! So they became immobile.
    Sad to see this office closing, but the saving grace is they appear to intend to have permanent locally based reporters. Some weeklies do not even have that.

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  • June 13, 2018 at 10:26 am
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    My paper (JP) tried having reporters based in a local cafe. Lasted 3 weeks. Too many ppl in positions of responsibility in all industries but especially the newspaper area are bluffing their way and don’t have the first clue about their products. Making decisions which affect jobs and quality.

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  • June 13, 2018 at 3:17 pm
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    I take it the company will be making an allowance available to these reporters for the rise in their home heating bills this winter.

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  • June 13, 2018 at 4:35 pm
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    You have a brilliant brainwave, as Reach has had here, and then along comes a pedantic wet blanket like JohnW1712 with an irrelevant point about the higher cost of remote working. It’s a privilege just to graft for Reach, John.

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  • June 14, 2018 at 11:36 am
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    Hate to be a spoiler but some don’t some mortgages, house insurance etc have clauses about using homes for professional work. Not to mention the extra electricity.
    I’d go for the field, with the horses.

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  • June 14, 2018 at 12:52 pm
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    @paperboy Appalling that reporters don’t even get mileage for using their own cars these days. If a firm is that mean or can’t afford it then it should not be in business. Makes me quite nostalgic for the time in the 1970s/1980s when, as a reporter on the road, I had a company car, reasonable expenses and could wine and dine contacts. As four booting reporters out of an office to sit elsewhere then that is a downward step. One place I worked at shut the office but then had to reopen it a few months later when the bosses realised that people were giving tip-offs to the hacks as they did when the journos worked from a place in the town centre. They also tried experimenting by putting a jour no in a cafe but in some cases people did not want to be seen giving a tip off/story to a jour no in a public place. Yes, I accept people don’t read newspapers like they used to do but part of the reason is that too many stories don’t have enough bite in them because there are no reporters or not enough on the patch they are actually covering. Our local paper may be only 4 miles away from the parent company but there is not one reporter based in the town where I live and which has a population of 20,000.

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  • June 14, 2018 at 12:53 pm
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    One sentence should read: “were not giving tip-offs…….”

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