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Cuts at Colchester Gazette denounced

8 January 2009

Newsquest has told staff that they want to axe the position of editor and up to 13 editorial jobs on the Colchester Gazette. The NUJ has condemned job cuts on the daily paper in Colchester as an attack on the independent cultural life of North Essex.

Management and subbing of the paper will be moved to Basildon – forty miles away. The Gazette's two editions, which cover Colchester and the coast, will be merged into one.

Jeremy Dear, NUJ general secretary, who began his career as a journalist in Essex, said:

"Our members in Colchester are not fooled by the notion of a paper without an editor. The daily paper in the area will effectively be an edition of the Basildon publication.
"Colchester was, for a time, the capital of Roman Britain and claims to be the oldest town in the country.
"The independent cultural life of this proud community is being attacked by Newsquest managers who have no interest in the workers, readers, or advertisers who have been contributing to their vast profits.
"To cut 14 out of 50 editorial jobs in North Essex will leave journalists there – and in Basildon – under greater pressure and stress.
"There are no public transport links between Colchester and Basildon. Our members in Colchester calculate it would take them two and a half hours to travel into London and out again to the Newsquest office on the outskirts of Basildon."

The NUJ chapel in Colchester will meet next Monday evening and the chapel in Basildon on Tuesday.

Jeremy Dear added:

"We will support our members in any action they wish to take over these disastrous cuts."

Tags: , newsquest, newspapers, cuts, merger, colchester, colchester gazette, basildon, chapels