Yorkshire newspapers subject to yet more job cuts
26 November 2014
Johnston Press has announced up to 19 job cuts at titles in Yorkshire as the company's "relentless cutbacks" continue.
Staff at the Yorkshire Publishing Unit, which has 19 titles, including the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post, Scarborough News, Halifax Courier series and Yorkshire Weekly Newspaper Group, were told the editorial budget would be reduced by eight per cent.
Between 15 and 19 jobs could go, equivalent to one per title, by the end of March.
The company said this would be in addition to the seven photographers at risk of compulsory redundancy on weekly titles in Yorkshire. The cuts are part of a plan for more sharing of content between titles. Staff were told investment in improved websites was part of this plan.
The NUJ's Johnston Press group chapel said:
"Our members have been left shocked by today's announcement. It's difficult to see how further job losses, which leave newsrooms struggling to function, are the way forward. Staffing is already at crisis point, leading to excessive hours and workloads and rock-bottom morale, as evidenced in a recent stress survey by the NUJ. We are seeking meaningful negotiations with the company to explore ways of avoiding job losses."
Chris Morley, the NUJ's Northern and Midlands organiser, said:
“Continual waves of redundancies are sapping the morale and pride our members at Johnston Press have in their work. The Johnston Press mission statement is to ‘serve local communities by meeting their needs for local news, information and advertising services’ yet cuts such as these only drive the reader and advertiser ever further away. If the group cannot fulfil its own mission, what faith should its staff have in management plans.
"Further cuts to journalism will do nothing for local communities or, indeed, the chances of winning back readers who have deserted in recent years. The road to a successful digital future inevitably will need to come from prudent investment and the nurturing of the company’s remaining editorial talent and experience.”
The NUJ has called for a national inquiry into the future of the UK's local press.