Johnston Press has undertaken a cutting review with plans to axe journalists’ jobs, including two chief photographers, production journalists and planners, at a range of local newspaper titles in the Northern Midlands and South Yorkshire areas.
The company have earmarked eight journalist jobs to go and announced that the consultation period will end in July.
A range of job cuts announcements were made last week and include plans to reorganise the photographic department across the company and reduce the number of production journalists as a result of the new workflow and titles re-launch.
Journalists affected by the latest announcements work at the Doncaster Free Press, Derbyshire Times, Sheffield Star and sister paper the Sheffield Telegraph.
The NUJ is calling on the company to allow for voluntary redundancies in the first instance and the NUJ Sheffield chapel will be meeting on Tuesday (19 June 2012) to consider their response.
At the last NUJ meeting in Sheffield, journalists held a vote of no confidence in management after the Sheffield Telegraph editor and Sheffield Star deputy editor were made redundant earlier this month.
Last week on Friday (15 June 2012) Johnston Press also announced 19 editorial redundancies at the Leeds-based Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post.
The NUJ’s press release about the Leeds job cuts is available here
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:
"If Johnston Press want to turn the company’s fortunes around they have to wake up to the fact that its journalists are its best asset. Losing experienced, talented, loyal staff who are passionate about the communities they serve, and the consequential impact on content and quality will do nothing to make more readers turn to their local newspapers, whether in print or online.”
Julia Armstrong, Mother of Chapel at the NUJ Sheffield Newspapers Chapel, said:
"Yet again Johnston Press staff are paying the price of poor investment decisions that have left the company at the mercy of the banks. The relaunch of the Sheffield Star and sister paper the Sheffield Telegraph this autumn should be an exciting opportunity but instead jobs are under threat yet again and the staff who are left are already stretched to the limit.
"We can ill afford to lose more journalists with decades of experience; the company should be looking for ways to keep those staff whose jobs are on the line so that they can deliver quality journalism to the people of South Yorkshire – it is what they want and deserve."