A journalism trainer has shared concerns about the challenge posed by office closures to students seeking work experience.
The move means journalists working for the company in Devon and Cornwall will now either work remotely, from Reach’s Plymouth hub or hot desk in shared working spaces.
In a post on his blog about the closures, Paul wrote: “We shouldn’t get too attached to bricks and mortar, particularly when the choice is between axing building and axing jobs.
“The new world presents a lot of challenges – including a very selfish one for those of us involved in helping to set up work placements for our students.
“Hooking up the journalists of the future with the journalists of today will be a far more complicated process when there are fewer offices.
“That’s the least of Reach’s short-term worries, I know. But it is in its long-term interests to ensure that the flames of interest in frontline journalism get the oxygen of real newsroom exposure.
“For now, I wish everyone working for Reach in Devon and Cornwall the best of luck. I’m still sad that the feel of working as a journalist will be different in future.”
Speaking to HTFP, Paul said work experience placements had the power to be “utterly transformational” for journalism students.
Of the issues posed by office closure, he added: “It’s something I suppose is going to be a challenge and it’s something I hope the industry recognises as well.
“Having to have people on work placements can be hard work and a commitment, but I hope in the long-term it’s realised that this is needed, otherwise the number of those available in terms of recruitment in the future is going to dry up.”
HTFP has approached Reach plc for a comment.