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Newsquest's onslaught continues with 11 jobs to go in Essex

18 November 2015

Newsquest has continued its onslaught on staff by announcing redundancies on its Essex titles, with 11 jobs to go.

The company  is to make four features jobs and seven photographer posts redundant.

A rep for the NUJ chapel said:

"The loss of photographers will leave just two people covering the entire south Essex region. This includes the daily Echo titles and a number of weeklies in Thurrock, Chelmsford and Brentwood. We will have to rely more and more on submitted pictures, which are often poor quality. If a big story breaks, we  will not have the capacity to do the story justice with high quality pictures.
"The move seems especially short-sighted, bearing in mind the company has made a no insignificant amount of money in recent years from picture sales initiatives, such as school supplements, which can only make money from quality, professional, staff pictures.
"The loss of features writers is an insult to our readers. When Newsquest increased the cover price, to try to grapple back lost advertising revenue, the pay-off to readers was a large daily features section. This has gradually been whittled down, but with the loss of feature writers, what's left will be filled with agency and submitted copy."

Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, said:

"Newsquest's short sighted determination to undermine its own content continues. The wholesale outsourcing of photographic roles is reckless and callous. The loss of specialist features roles will leave a big hole. The skills of experienced people are being thrown overboard on a flimsy pretext. Newsquest should come clean work on its hidden agenda and show some respect for staff instead of continually targeting them."

Tags: , local newspapers, local news matters, newsquest, essex, Thurrock, Chelmsford, Brentwood, redundancies, cuts, photographers, feature writers