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NUJ calls on Newsquest to stop the relocation as subbing hub horrors revealed

5 March 2014

The NUJ has stepped up the campaign to save local journalism and jobs as Steve Dyson, a respected former regional editor and independent commentator, today revealed the subbing hub horrors contained in the newspaper titles already based in Newport.

Read Steve Dyson's piece on the Hold the Front Page website.

The union is campaigning against imminent job cuts at Newsquest and is opposed to moving editorial production from three flagship Newsquest titles in the North East to Newport: the Northern Echo, Bradford Telegraph and Argus and The Press at York.

Work already moved to Newport has hugely increased the volume of work and exposed the woeful lack of resources available to produce quality journalism.

Newsquest local managers should recognise Newsquest's relocation strategy is not a cost-free development, it risks making their titles a laughing stock unless action is taken to amend the transfer of work plans and strengthen local production capacity by retaining skilled and experienced staff.

The Steve Dyson piece comes at a crucial time as individual consultations are already underway and the first switch of York work to Newport could be as early as next week.

Chris Morley, Northern and Midlands organiser, said:

"The findings of Steve Dyson, an independent and respected media commentator, only confirms the NUJ's own monitoring of journalistic standards for titles already being produced from Newsquest's factory journalism hub.
"We have been aware of the serious shortcomings in a whole welter of different areas of editorial content brought about by a software system that has not yet proved to work, serious lack of staff in Newport and unreasonable demands made of those workers.
"These widespread flaws are nowhere near being resolved - and may never be. But Newsquest is still relentlessly seeking to axe the jobs of two dozen skilled and experienced journalists in the local centres in Yorkshire and Darlington and to send the work hundreds of miles away to a factory with dubious quality.
"The potential damage to three of Newsquest’s flagship daily titles is incalculable given the quantum leap in the number of pages to be subbed for already badly overstretched staff in Newport. Our chapels are demanding that local knowledge and experience is retained in the centres to prevent a reputational disaster for their titles."

Tags: darlington, , relocation, local newspapers, wales, redundancies, bradford, newsquest, newport, york, newspapers, cuts