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Express chapel writes to Desmond over changes

13 November 2008

NUJ members at Express Newspapers have taken their concerns about changes at the paper direct to proprietor Richard Desmond.

Journalists are anxious about what will happen to the Daily and Sunday Express if management presses ahead with plans to lose most of the sub-editors from the papers and allows reporters to write directly into pages for production.

The following extract is taken from a letter to Richard Desmond from NUJ rep Steve Usher, who was writing on behalf of the NUJ Express Newspapers chapel:

We are extremely concerned for the future of the Daily and Sunday Express with the proposed introduction of InDesign and the Woodwing system.

The Woodwing system does not reduce by a single keystroke the labour needed to produce the newspapers, contrary to what you may have been told.

Anyone who says the system will, of itself, give you the labour saving your management has outlined is misleading you.

The system is being introduced by the management and experts who neither understand the technology nor the production of the newspaper.

We believe the introduction of the changes proposed by your management will do severe damage to the reputation and eventually the finances of your newspapers.

Circulation will be hit if deadlines are not met and the correct editions are not sent to the correct areas. Obviously you will lose revenue because of this.

Advertisers will begin to question the value of your titles which will inevitably be more prone to mistakes and legal challenges. Again, this will lead to loss of revenue.

We are open to discussions with you in order to find a sensible way of introducing a new system if you so desire.

Tags: , express newspapers, working practices, richard desmond, cuts, daily express, sunday express, subeditors, newspapers