Journalist suspended for refusing to use video

A journalist at Newsquest‘s Herald and Times group has been suspended after he refused to take a video camera on a job.

The Glasgow journalist was suspended last week and has not returned to work, although he has since been ill.

The National Union of Journalists said the decision was “shocking” and “a complete over-reaction”.

Paul Holleran, the union’s national organiser in Scotland, told Press Gazette: “He was approached to take a video camera on a story. He didn’t have any technical training or health and safety training.

“He refused and was immediately suspended. We don’t have a problem with using videos, so long as people are appropriately trained.

“There’s no logic attached to their decision, that’s why it’s so shocking. I just hope it’s not victimisation. It just seems a complete over-reaction.”

Journalists at the group – which includes Glasgow’s Evening Times, The Herald and Sunday Herald – now work one combined “hub” for all the titles.

In December, Newsquest announced most of its 250-strong editorial team would have to re-apply for their jobs, with 40 fewer posts in the merged newsroom.

In total, 51 applied for voluntary redundancy, but only 40 were accepted – 24 at The Herald, six at The Sunday Herald, five at the Evening Times, and five in digital – leaving 11 staying when they wanted to leave.

Holleran told MPs in the Scottish Affairs Committee this week that some journalists in Scotland “were not coping” with the cutbacks.

The group editor-in-chief, Donald Martin, had not responded to a request for comment at time of publication.

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