Staff snub Archant awards over cuts

By Dominic Ponsford

Journalists at the East Anglian Daily Times and the Ipswich Evening
Star are planning to boycott the company’s annual awards bash in
protest at editorial cutbacks.

Some editorial staff are also unhappy about a reduction in the number of awards categories open to journalists.

A
month ago six editorial posts were made redundant so that the morning
EADT (circulation 39,297) and the Evening Star (circulation 24,986)
could merge their subbing and sport teams.

Two years ago the papers merged their photographic staffs.

At
the same time that staff have been consulted about redundancies, parent
company Archant has been promoting its annual awards event which this
year is due to be held at the Essex stately home Audley End.

The
number of awards categories has been reduced with only one Editorial
Person of the Year rather than the usual reporter and photographer
categories.

An Archant NUJ spokesman said: “This is a
spectacularly inappropriate awards ceremony coming, as it does, in a
climate of mounting uncertainty over where the axe will next fall.

“Journalists
don’t get into this game for the money and as a result often put a lot
more in than we get out because we care about what we do and thepapers
we produce. Media bosses seem to see this as a weakness. Managers have
shown their contempt for this part of the workforce by continuing to
trumpet how great the awards are while, at the same time, telling some
people they no longer have jobs.”

Archant director of
development, and awards manager, Ian Davis, said: “There are 17 awards
categories in total: six of them are people awards and 10 are product
awards. Four of the people awards can be entered by journalists such as
team of the year, newcomer of the year and unsung hero of the year.”

He added: “The awards are about praising what’s good and letting the rest of the business know about it.”

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