Picture editors out, 'User Generated Content Editor' in at Southern Daily Echo

Newsquest is planning to axe two senior picture desk roles and cut down on the use of staff photographers in Hampshire.

Newsquest Hampshire editor-in-chief Ian Murray has told staff of proposals to cut the positions of picture editor and deputy picture editor – and create a "User Generated Content Editor" position.

It emerged earlier this month that Southern Daily Echo editor Murray is to edit the Hampshire Chronicle, Romsey Advertiser and Basingstoke Gazette, replacing three redundant roles for those titles.

An email from Murray to staff on Saturday, seen by Press Gazette, said it is proposed that the picture desk “will no longer exist in its present form and its functions will become part of the altered main news and content desk”.

He said: "If accepted the proposals would see the emphasis for images shift to less staff photographers and more use of freelances, user generated content and images provided by other staff members.

“If accepted these proposals will mean the roles of Picture Editor and Deputy Picture Editor at the Newsquest Hampshire main newsroom at Redbridge will no longer be required.

“At the same time it is proposed to create a new role as part of the main news and content desk: User Generated Content Editor. A job description for this proposed post and the selection criteria will be made available during the consultation period.

“These proposals mean that the roles of Picture Editor and Deputy Picture Editor are regrettably at risk of redundancy.

“The consultation period will commence on Tuesday 17th February and end on 19th March 2015, with the outcome of the process being announced on 20th March 2015.” 

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