Photographers bear brunt in new round of cuts
© Mark Thomas
7 June 2016
A new round of redundancies has been announced at the Manchester Evening News (MEN) and Huddersfield Examiner as part of Trinity Mirror's re-organisation plans.
Yet again it is the photographers who have borne the brunt, with three among the eight photographers going at the MEN, plus one of three assistant publishing editors. The company intends to create five new posts including two digital sports writers, one trend writer, one city beat reporter and one breaking news blogger.
At the Huddersfield Examiner, the head of news role is being made redundant but the successful candidate for the currently vacant post (since February) of executive editor digital will take on both roles. Three other roles are going, two part-time admin staff and a community content curator. A new role of digital sports writer is being created.
Archant is also believed to be shedding staff photographers on its south-east county titles. Reporters will be expected to take pictures and office-based image curators will have to find pictures from freelance contributions, readers and other sources.
Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, said:
"These photographic cuts are an attempt to get content on the cheap and by piling extra work onto other staff. They are yet another short sighted move at massive cost to the very skills and experience needed to produce the quality content readers will buy. This is a self-defeating, damaging plan."
Chris Morley, Northern & Midlands organiser, said:
“Once again news photographers are in the line of fire with media companies in the grip of an obsession that quality news images spring from nowhere or can be plucked relentlessly with no cost or worry from the internet. This is a false and damaging belief and such cuts are proving elsewhere to be cuts too far.
“The NUJ welcomes investments in digital journalist jobs. But the central and compelling question about a sustainable digital strategy that will pay for quality journalism still remains. Our members quite rightly want to see hard evidence of this before more resources are taken from elsewhere.
“We ask that Trinity Mirror be much more open about its plans for digital transformation, which it says are local initiatives ,but are clearly being driven by a central strategy to its regional centres. Answer the questions about sustainable levels of digital income and sustaining a real quality of journalism online, and NUJ members would be a lot more understanding of these changes.”
Hold the Front Page: Up to 30 photographic jobs at risk in regional publisher’s restructure