Brighton Argus staff angered by proposed cuts
18 October 2010
Journalists working for the Newsquest-owned Brighton Argus have reacted with anger to the news that seven posts are to be cut from the newspaper. The redundancies form part of a cost-cutting move to a regional hub in Southampton, from where the paper will now be sub-edited.
The news follows reports that the highest paid director of Newsquest's parent company enjoyed a massive £108,000 – or 21.5 per cent – hike in overall pay to £609,235,
Jeremy Dear, NUJ General Secretary, said:
"Staff on the Argus are right to be angry. Sub-editing a local newspaper from Southampton does make sense – but only if that paper serves Southampton. This move is a continuation of Newsquest's short-sighted policy of spreading resources thinly, ensuring local newspapers are local only in name.
"We've seen local newspapers operations fully or partially moved to regional hubs before and the result is always the same – newspapers that are increasingly less well informed and more remote from the communities they serve, leading to falling circulation and ultimately closure.
"To suggest that The Brighton Argus could be produced outside of the community it serves and reports to, and upon which it relies for revenue, shows a disregard for the quality of the paper and the intelligence of its readership.
"Local knowledge and expertise is crucial to an accurate and effectively edited paper and to throw this invaluable resource away simply in order to cut a few more jobs is a desperately false economy."
Staff at the paper have organised a meeting of their NUJ chapel this Thursday, to plan their response.