Newsquest continues national cull of photographers with nine jobs at risk on northern England titles

Nine more jobs are set go in the latest stage of an apparent nationwide cull of photographers by regional newspaper group Newsquest.

The National Union of Journalists says that nine jobs are set to go in York, Bradford and Darlington on titles including the Telegraph and Argus, The Press and The Northern Echo. Each centre will reportedly be left with one "co-ordinator".

The NUJ says that Darlington will have lost six out of seven staff photographers in the space of a year.

The company has already cut staff photographers in Oxford, Wiltshire, Bournemouth and Brighton this year.

In Wiltshire six photography staff were made redundant and reporters were told they would be issued with iPhones in order to take photographs themselves.

A statement from the NUJ chapel in Darlington said: "The latest redundancies mean the centre will have lost six out of seven photographers in less than a year, leaving only one photographer in place in a newly-created 'co-ordinator' role. It is a further blow to the editorial department, which is already reeling from the consequences of staff cuts during the year.  It will have severe implications for the publications with regard to the quality of its photographic coverage."
 
Chris Morley, NUJ Northern and Midlands organiser, said:  "Newsquest is clearly stripping away its support for quality, professional staff photography. This leaves this business reliant on the public or submitted pictures from vested interests or freelance photographers, often those it has made redundant. The NUJ has warned this is detrimental to the journalism being produced because independence of content creation is compromised.

"Reporters cannot, and will not, take up the slack as they do not have the time and have not had the training or support or equipment. This represents Newsquest completing the first part of making its news an amateur pursuit."

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