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Publisher to axe up to seven journalism jobs across country, union claims

nujlogoUp to seven editorial roles are set to be made redundant by a regional publisher in the next two weeks, union chiefs have claimed.

The National Union of Journalists has criticised plans by Newsquest to cut staff in Brighton, South London and North Wales, which will lead to an overall headcount reduction of six.

According to the NUJ, Newsquest plans to axe the roles of business editor, picture editor and one of the two remaining sports desk roles at Brighton daily The Argus, while an editor and one of two remaining sub-editor roles in South London are also set to go.

Titles affected in the capital are the Croydon Guardian, Epsom Guardian, Streatham Guardian, Sutton Guardian, Wandsworth Guardian , Wimbledon Guardian, Elmbridge Guardian, Kingston Guardian, Richmond & Twickenham Times and the Surrey Comet.

The cutbacks follow the recent departure of group editor Andy Parkes who had overall editorial responsiblity for both The Argus and the South London titles.

In addition, the union says the roles of content manager and head of news have been put at risk of redundancy at Newsquest’s Colwyn Bay centre, with an accompanying proposal for one new role of audience and content editor to be created.

The newspapers affected are the North Wales Chronicle, The Pioneer, The Rhyl Journal and the Denbighshire Free Press, which were purchased by Newsquest as part of its takeover of NWN Media in 2017.

The NUJ claims the company wants to make the cuts in a fortnight and said in a letter to staff it had been reviewing all functions and would carry out reorganisations “so as to deliver efficiencies and reduce costs”.

Chris Morley, Newsquest NUJ group coordinator, said: “With newsrooms throughout Newsquest so badly depleted after many years of constant job attrition, these latest cuts are a cruel blow to poorly paid professionals doing their best to make journalism work in a company that appears to show disdain for it.”

HTFP has approached Newsquest for a comment.


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  • March 29, 2019 at 11:31 am

    Office closures, particularly in a climate of huge copy sale losses,always lead to job cuts and news paper closures too
    Good wishes to those affected

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  • March 29, 2019 at 11:48 am

    So which comes first: Brexit or the end of every single (printed) regional daily newspaper in the UK?

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  • March 29, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    More sad, but entirely predictable, cuts by Newsquest.
    Good luck to those affected, who wil hopefully quickly realise there is a world outside local newspapers and it’s pretty good.
    As for the NUJ, another bland statement from Chris Morley. It says nothing and certainly does nothing for those targeted for the exit door.
    Just what is the point of the NUJ?

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  • March 29, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    Just how few sports staff are left in Brighton now apart from Andy Naylor?

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  • March 29, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    Surely they cannot cut staff at the Brighton Argus any more? It makes you wonder if the next move is go weekly. Sport used to be the paper’s strong point as the news coverage sagged because of the loss of so many experienced reporters that were not replaced.. Can only hope this talk of cuts is fake news.

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  • March 29, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    I struggle to see how they can cut the Guardian series any further. That’s my neck of the woods and those papers are dreadful enough as it is.

    At the time of posting, the following stories are the top six under its Epsom news section:

    * What can you do legally if someone parks in front of your driveway?

    * When the clocks go forward in 2019 and what you need to know

    * Do you buy oat milk at Tesco? This one’s being recalled for safety reasons

    * Marmite peanut butter is launching in the UK – but do we love or hate the idea?

    * Co-op launches online delivery service using electric bikes

    * Footballer [from Greenwich, 16 miles and an entirely different demographic away] backs charity campaign to fight stigma around man asking for help

    You can actually smell the desperation.

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  • April 1, 2019 at 10:39 am

    No surprise that the decision to sell NWN Media to Newsquest appears to have made life very difficult for the staff that work there. It wasn’t a particularly big operation to begin with but I gather that the staffing levels there have reduced significantly in the last year or so, and still Newsquest want to make more cuts as this story confirms.

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  • April 1, 2019 at 11:16 am

    The rapid and apparently inexorable decline of print suggests something more than serial managerial incompetence, wrongful investment in low revenue activities (online) or a sudden transformation in the habits of readers.
    I was prompted by a Guardian article on the philosopher Onora O’Neill to watch her TED talk on the matter of trust. Her analysis suggest fundamentals which print no longer provides, based on professional values of honesty, competence and reliability, which in journalistic terms equate with objectivity, clarity and accuracy.
    I’d therefore argue that the underresourcing of quality journalism, and the partisan nature of the remaining press are the single most important factors in the collapse of trust in print, hastened by cost and the ready availability of free stuff online. It would seem clear that to address the trust issue, first requires print products to protect their content… by keeping it offline, or at least linking access to copies sold in print. Then perhaps the ownership structures which have underpinned the cost cutting might also be addressed. A complex task, but, as the relative success of the Guardian suggests, not an impossible one.
    Finally, I’d recommend O’Neill’s short TED talk which also suggests why the form of accountability parroted by press and politicians regarding company and professional performance is also a waste of time and money… box ticking.

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  • April 1, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    That’s it Nikkon, blame the union for its ‘bland’ comment rather than applaud it for highlighting further job losses in the industry. You ask what is the point of the NUJ? Well they are the only ones standing up to the ruthless job–cutting people in charge of our newspapers etc, whether on a national or local level.

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  • April 1, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    @ex regional journo – NUJ standing up for journalists. Don’t make me laugh. I was a member for 40 plus years and was never impressed. At the way papers are declining I doubt if there will be an NUJ in the future.

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  • April 1, 2019 at 9:56 pm

    @ ex regional journo.
    Highlighting the further job losses? And what do they do about it? Issue a press release.
    Standing up to the job cuts? How and when? I worked for Newsquest through years of ruthless job cutting and never once did they intervene to do anything.
    They’ve basically stood by, helpless and toothless, as a once proud industry is decimated.
    And I joined the NUJ in 1975.

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