A fresh round of redundancies has been announced by Trinity Mirror as the publisher continues its digital-focused restructuring of regional newsrooms up and down the country.
The NUJ has described proposed changes to titles in Cornwall and Newcastle as a “merry-go-round of misery” as it follows one month after 13 jobs were axed in editorial cuts to titles in the South East.
As there, Trinity Mirror has said it is looking to merge newspaper websites with the launch of a single news website covering hyperlocal news across Cornwall that replaces three independent news websites for the West Briton, Cornishman and Cornish Guardian titles.
A spokeswoman said: “This has been a successful model in other areas and helps us to better serve our audience with the information they want and need in one place.
“Our team of patch reporters across Cornwall will work alongside an expanded content desk and production team.
“We anticipate some redundancies but will also create a number of new roles aimed at improving the content we produce for all platforms.”
She added that in Newcastle “a handful of roles” would be made redundant. The NUJ said these job losses would be at the Newcastle Chronicle and Journal and that new digital roles are to be created.
Two photographers on the daily title will go, plus an agenda writer and a social media editor.
The new roles created are a head of content, head of audience engagement, a fan writer for Newcastle and Sunderland football teams and a Sunderland city writer. Existing vacancies for a multi-media journalist and a content curator will also be filled.
Chris Morley, NUJ Northern and Midlands organiser, said: “The merry-go-round of misery continues within Trinity Mirror with a central group strategy that is still not answering the key question our members pose – when will digital growth bring with it the revenue needed to sustain quality journalism?
“In Newcastle’s case, we see the axe poised over a number of roles that considerably assist in driving up digital hits – particularly photographic where we know online picture galleries are generally very successful and videos which we have been led to believe drive digital revenue.
“We will be looking closely at the company’s policy to rely increasingly on freelance photographers. The sad fact is that low pay rates and high capital costs are driving individuals out of the news sector so the company’s ability to use freelances in the future is very much open to question.
“We will be supporting all our members put at risk by these latest proposals and expect that where individuals wish to stay, suitable work is found for them.”