Johnston Press‘s Portsmouth daily The News has announced a fresh round of redundancies in a newsroom already described as ‘stretched’by insiders – and axed the role of deputy editor.
In a memo to staff the paper’s managing director, Karl Dimmock, announced an editorial restructure of The News and the Petersfield Post to ‘create greater efficiencies”.
Journalists will be cut from the features, sport and photographic desks, and the role of deputy editor will be made redundant, resulting in the loss of ‘3.6 full-time equivalent” positions.
Dimmock said that if the proposals go ahead the company would ‘endeavour to minimise the impact through re-deployment to alternative positions and voluntary redundancy”.
Journalists on the News have reacted angrily after reportedly also being told that two vacant reporter positions will not be filled.
One well placed source said that the paper “is on the brink of a meltdown” and “so already stretched that it was previously inconceivable that editorial could be cut any further than in previous years”.
The six in-house sub-editor positions were cut in 2010.
They said: “We are in a situation where news editors are designing pages, sending stories to web, co-ordinating staff and managing stories; where reporters are increasingly expected to file copy and pictures for the website, film video and also come up with stories for the following day’s paper; where 12-hour shifts without a lunch break is the norm and not a rarity.
‘I certainly hope the shareholders are happy with their stake in this sweatshop; where corporate greed rules over and above anything else – especially dedicated and proud staff.”