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NUJ invites News International journalists to meeting

November 1st, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Events, Job losses, Jobs, Newspapers

The National Union of Journalists is due to hold a meeting tomorrow (Wednesday, 2 November) to discuss the recently announced cuts to editorial within the Times and Sunday Times, which is open to member and non-member freelance, casual and staff journalists at the publisher’s titles.

Last month the Times announced it was to cut around 100 staff from the newspapers’ editorial workforce, with the bulk of those said to be to casual staff. It was also confirmed that 20 compulsory redundancies are due to be made from full-time staff at the Sunday Times, which is cutting 30 per cent of its casual editorial workforce.

Following this announcement the NUJ set up a meeting, which is open to any staff who wish to seek advice. It will be held from 1 to 3pm at the Captain Kidd pub, 108 Wapping High Street, E1W 2NE. The union has also invited representatives of the company’s in-house union NISA to attend if interested in working with the NUJ.

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Voluntary redundancies as Future Publishing focuses on digital

July 19th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Job losses, Journalism, Magazines

Magazine publisher Future PLC is to cut around 100 jobs based in the UK and worldwide – in a move favouring digital over print.

The job losses are expected due to “restructuring” in the company, following a 5 per cent circulation revenue fall in the past nine months.

In a statement, it said the websites were performing well and the main problems were in America.

In an email to staff, Future Publishing UK CEO, Mark Wood, said restructure would be likely to result in about 10 per cent of the firm’s workforce being made redundant. This however, would mostly be through voluntary redundancies.

The company – which publishes around 80 magazines and has 1,000 staff in Bath – said advertising revenue from its websites has offset a decline in print-related income.

The business is executing its operational review of geography and function, to accelerate the move of the US business to one that is a primarily digital business model, simultaneously reducing volatility associated with print data flows, and to reorganise the UK business, re-calibrating it to ensure faster adaptation to digital and more efficient execution of print.

The benefit of these steps will be to improve efficiency, reduce headcount, reduce property requirements, and help accelerate the most promising areas of digital product development.

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NUJ: Journalists demand ‘immediate talks’ as 22 jobs face cut at Media Wales

July 19th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Job losses, Jobs, Local media

The National Union of Journalists claims reporters at Media Wales are demanding “immediate talks” with management following plans to cut 22 jobs at the publisher.

According to the union, under the proposals 10 district office staff, eight production journalists and four members of the sports staff would be made redundant. Media Wales, part of the Trinity Mirror group, publishes titles including the Western Mail, South Wales Echo and the Wales on Sunday.

The NUJ chapel members have unanimously passed a motion which states the chapel “expresses shock at the scale of editorial cuts being proposed”, adding that “it is determined to do everything possible to protect the jobs, wages and conditions of its members, as well as the quality of our products”.

Father of the chapel Martin Shipton said: “We shall be entering an intensive period of negotiation with management to mitigate the damage to our members’ livelihood and the newspapers we produce.

“Members are especially angry that while they are expected to lose their jobs or in some cases take pay cuts, Sly Bailey and her fellow directors continue to be paid obscene amounts of money.”

Within the motion the chapel also authorises its committee “to take whatever action it sees fit in association with the union’s national officers”, which could include organising a strike ballot.

In a statement Media Wales confirmed the proposals, which centre on the introduction of a single production team for news and features across the Western Mail, South Wales Echo, Wales on Sunday and all its weekly titles.

This means cuts to the number of full-time roles in the editorial production department and the introduction of a new part-time system, the company said.

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#jpod: The top news stories from Journalism.co.uk, 17 June 2011

June 17th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Podcast

Listen below for this week’s news round-up from Journalism.co.uk’s senior reporter Rachel McAthy and sign up to our iTunes podcast feed for future audio.

This week’s podcast looks at: Guardian Media Group’s announcement that it is now a digital-first organisation, amid confirmation that it lost £33 million in the last financial year and is seeking to make £25 million worth of savings over the next five years; calls from the Foreign Office for an independent investigation into alleged war crimes uncovered by Channel 4; and an announcement from the BBC that it has begun the sale of the iconic Television Centre.

We’re currently looking at ways to develop this podcast, let us know by email of your ideas on topics you would like to see covered more in depth in the future.

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Guardian: ‘This was not a redundancy announcement’

June 17th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Job losses, Newspapers

Predictably, speculation about potential job cuts at Guardian News and Media (GMG) has been rife since yesterday’s announcement that the company was seeking to make £25 million in savings over the next five years.

The Telegraph reported this morning that a cull could go as high as 175 staff, and both the Independent and Evening Standard reported certain job cuts.

A spokesperson for GMG flatly refuted the number in the Telegraph article and told Journalism.co.uk today that yesterday’s statement “was not a redundancy announcement”. He refused to rule out job cuts, however.

“Yesterday’s briefing was not a redundancy announcement. We shared with staff our current position and a strategy to transform the organisation, and said we would work with staff and unions to achieve it. Of course no media company can rule out redundancies in the current climate, but we will talk to staff about issues like that first.”

Yesterday’s statement from GMG confirmed that the company suffered operating losses of £33 million in the last financial year and announced its newspaper titles the Guardian and the Observer would be switching to a “digital-first” strategy.

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#jpod: The top news stories from Journalism.co.uk, 6 May 2011

May 6th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Podcast

Listen below for this week’s news round-up from Journalism.co.uk’s senior reporter Rachel McAthy and sign up to our iTunes podcast feed for future audio.

This week’s jpod reports on the BBC’s announcement of 45 more job losses within its News division, the unanimous vote for a ballot on strike action at Newsquest South London and the latest figures on News Corporation’s iPad newspaper the Daily.

We also hear from our technology reporter Sarah Marshall on how Journalism.co.uk has used Peer Index to compile a list of the UK’s 100 most influential journalists online.

There is also more information on Journalism.co.uk’s fourth news:rewired event, noise to signal, which takes place on 27 May at Thomson Reuters, Canary Wharf.

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Norfolk blogger supports Archant journalists facing job cuts

April 21st, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick, Job losses, Newspapers

Food blogger and pie maker Brays Cottage Pork Pies has voiced support for Archant journalists facing job cuts, hosting a guest post from a former reporter.

Blogger “Sarah” describes local newspapers as “part of the warp and weft of a community ” and states Norfolk has some of the best in the Eastern Daily Press (EDP) and The Norwich Evening News.

She goes on to urge people to email Archant expressing their concerns about job losses.

The anonymous reporter highlights campaigns championed by Archant publications and the role of local newspapers within the community, in their contribution.

If public bodies are making cuts (aren’t they all?) who’s going to tell you about it and who’s going to give you a voice to shout about it?

Who’s going to tell you about crime, both major and minor, on your doorstep? Who’s going to tell you about events in your neighbourhood?

Who’s going to highlight the ordinary people who do extraordinary things to help charities and the community? Who’s going to tell you the quirky little stories that make you smile over your cornflakes?

The full blog post can be found here.

 

 

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Debate: Will other reporters follow Tindle’s and strike over quality?

Journalists at Tindle newspapers in north London are striking over the declining quality of the nine newspapers written by just three news reporters.

They complain they cannot leave the office to cover court stories, council meetings and are delivering a poor product to readers.

They are saying “enough is enough” and downing tools for a full two weeks. Nine editorial staff will walk out from Tuesday.

Tindle has said it will aim to produce the Enfield papers during the strike. Father of the chapel and features editor of the north London papers Jonathan Lovett speculated that they would do this by asking staff from other regional centres to cover.

So are the striking Tindle nine bravely leading the way to stop “churnalism” and deliver a better quality product for readers or are they standing on a picket line for two weeks only to ask the impossible of a company which has been hit by declining sales and advertising?

And, of course, cuts and declining quality is not just happening at Tindle newspapers.

It’s not just Tindle’s arts pages that are cut back, reporters who are over worked and council meetings that are ignored.

The last three years have seen cuts in regional newspapers across the country.

Jobs have been lost, subs’ posts have disappeared, production has moved way beyond the area where the spellings of councillors’ names and villages are known, football reports have been written a long way from the pitch and change pages have been reduced.

So can the quality of regional newspapers be upheld by industrial action taken by the reporters who write them? We would like to know your opinions on this issue.

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OJB: Three things the BBC has done for online journalism

February 14th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Broadcasting, Job losses, Online Journalism

Three weeks on from the announcement that the BBC would cut 360 jobs as part of a 25 per cent cut to its online budget, Paul Bradshaw looks at three things the corporation has done for online journalism.

1. Web writing style

The BBC’s way of writing for the web has always been a template for good web writing, not least because of the BBC’s experience with having to meet similar challenges with Ceefax – the two shared a content management system and journalists writing for the website would see the first few pars of their content cross-published on Ceefax too.

Even now it is difficult to find an online publisher who writes better for the web.

Full post on Online Journalism Blog at this link.

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Broadcast journalist Michael Goldfarb on life after redundancy

September 2nd, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Editors' pick, Job losses, Jobs

PoynterOnline.org has an interesting but unfortunately all-too-familiar story of a journalist – Michael Goldfarb – who lost his job during company cut backs five years ago. In an interview he shares his experiences of finding his feet as a freelancer and at times the realisisation of how little his years of experience would help him in his job search.

It was 5 July 2005, the day of the London bombings which Goldfarb had spent hours in the studio covering. When he got a call from his boss, he expected it would be to congratulate him on his work, but instead it was to break the news that his job was being cut.

Goldfarb soon returned to his post-WBUR life as a freelance journalist following failed attempts to find teaching work  – his 20 years of experience seemingly not enough to replace a lacking MA – but while financially he remains at a loss, Goldfarb’s talents as a journalist don’t seem to have gone unnoticed, with current projects including a monthly BBC TV news discussion, work with Globalpost.com and a new book in the pipeline.

But he remains concerned about an industry which he feels has given up on serving its audience.

I feel like a cavalry officer who has had two horses shot out from under him in the same battle. Serious reporting, serious writing: where is the audience for it in America anymore? I know It’s there, but the people who manage the news and book business have given up trying to serve it.

See the full interview here…

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