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Democracy reporter laments cuts ‘tragedy’ as he leaves industry after 25 years

Richard Whitehouse 2023A local democracy has lamented the “tragedy” of cuts to local newsrooms following his departure from journalism after a quarter of a century.

Richard Whitehouse has left Cornwall Live, where he had spent the past five years covering local politics under the BBC-funded scheme.

Richard, pictured, has moved to take up a new role as media officer for the South West and Channel Islands at children’s charity the NSPCC.

He handed in his notice before publisher Reach plc announced planned cuts to Cornwall Live and its sister titles around the country which will see 192 journalism roles disappear – although local democracy reporter posts are not affected by the changes.

As part of the restructure, Cornwall will be left with an editor, content editor, three reporters and a video and photojournalist to cover the county.

Speaking to HTFP, Richard said he was “looking forward to a new start and a new challenge”.

He added: “[I] have to say I think the cuts which are being made to local newsrooms are nothing short of a tragedy and I feel for my former colleagues and the challenges they are facing.

“However, I think that those working in the LDRS and my former colleagues in Devon and Cornwall are working incredibly hard to ensure that they continue to deliver good quality journalism and report on the things that really matter to readers, despite the obstacles which are being thrown in their way.”

Richard began his career as a reporter on the Welywyn & Hatfield Times in 1998, moving to become a senior reporter on the Portsmouth News three years later.

From 2003 to 2004 he worked on the Gloucester Citizen, after which he moved to Cornwall.

Initially a reporter on the West Briton, he later served as deputy news editor and then print content editor for Devon and Cornwall Media before taking on his most recent role in 2018.