Newsquest cull of photographers in the North east
3 September 2015
Newsquest has announced a huge cull of staff photographers at its titles in York, Bradford and Darlington.
Nine jobs could go, with each centre retaining one "co-ordinator".
The titles affected include the Bradford Telegraph & Argus, The Northern Echo, Darlington, and The Press in York. Newsquest said it intended to make the cuts by 30 September. In Darlington, this means that six out of seven staff photographers will have gone in fewer than 12 months.
Already this year the company has laid off staff photographers in Oxford, Bournemouth and Brighton.
A statement from the NUJ chapel in Darlington said:
"The latest redundancies mean the centre will have lost six out of seven photographers in less than a year, leaving only one photographer in place in a newly-created 'co-ordinator' role. It is a further blow to the editorial department, which is already reeling from the consequences of staff cuts during the year. It will have severe implications for the publications with regard to the quality of its photographic coverage."
Chris Morley, NUJ Northern and Midlands organiser, said:
"Newsquest is clearly stripping away its support for quality, professional staff photography. This leaves this business reliant on the public or submitted pictures from vested interests or freelance photographers, often those it has made redundant.
"The NUJ has warned this is detrimental to the journalism being produced because independence of content creation is compromised. Reporters cannot, and will not, take up the slack as they do not have the time and have not had the training or support or equipment. This represents Newsquest completing the first part of making its news an amateur pursuit."