Newsquest's version of new newsroom roles at Swindon Advertiser "absolute fiction” says NUJ chapel
15 March 2018
The NUJ chapel at the Swindon Advertiser has dismissed Newsquest's justification for advertising two newsdesk roles after making the news editor redundant.
The chapel had published a statement saying:
“The chapel questions the soundness of a plan by Newsquest whereby experienced and valued members of staff are replaced with less-experienced colleagues on significantly less money in new roles that mimic the former positions, and fears deeply for the future of the title and the industry as a whole.” Swindon Advertiser staff show disgust as Newsquest advertises redundant post
Toby Granville, Newsquest's editorial development director, responded, saying:
“This is more nonsense being stirred up by NUJ head office. These two new audience and content editor roles are to fill the vacancies created by recent resignations from the company. They are not replacing any of the roles made redundant – and at the time, we were of course unaware of these resignations. These two new exciting ACEs roles have been introduced already at several of our titles and really encapsulate the skills required in the modern multimedia newsroom. We are happy to welcome applications from past and present staff and while we are sorry to see employees leave the business – we look forward to building an exciting new team around the new editor Pete Gavan.”
A spokesman for the Swindon chapel of the NUJ replied:
“We have to dispute Toby Granville’s statement concerning the new roles he has advertised at the Swindon Advertiser. For many years now the Swindon Advertiser has only had two members of staff working on the news desk; a news editor and an assistant news editor. The news editor was made redundant in December 2017, leaving only the assistant news editor, who did indeed resign last week. For Toby Granville to say that both roles have arisen as a result of resignations is simply wrong. Toby’s justification for this new role is nothing if not a work of absolute fiction.”
@TobyGranville had also tweeted: "Not sure what @NUJofficial is getting so “disgusted” and “confused” about. We have two vacancies at Swindon and therefore advertising two roles. Basic maths. But then they’ve never been much good at checking the facts."