Jess Brammar quits as editor-in-chief of Huffpost UK

Jess Brammar

Jess Brammar is stepping down as editor-in-chief of Huffpost UK as the digital-only news title faces editorial cutbacks and the closure of its newsdesk under new owners Buzzfeed.

Some 17 out of 29 Huffpost UK’s journalists are at risk of redundancy under the planned restructure. Only the politics, entertainment and lifestyle sections would remain.

Consultations with staff on the proposed cuts are set to close at the end of this month. One UK insider has described the process as “brutal”. Buzzfeed closed its own UK news operation in May last year.

Brammar tweeted: “My role is going along with about half the team. I was offered a new reduced editor role, running a Huffpost UK without a newsdesk, as part of Buzzfeed’s plan to ‘fast track its path to profitability’. But news is at the heart of what Huffpost was for me. So I am bowing out.”

[Read more: Huffpost cuts were ‘brutal’, says insider, as rivals provide lesson in making digital pay]

Brammar joined Huffpost UK as head of news in 2018, moving from her role as acting editor at BBC Newsnight. She was made executive editor in March 2019, before being appointed editor-in-chief in February last year.

She tweeted: “At heart of our coverage was an attempt to give communities that often don’t trust the mainstream media a platform. Diversity made our output stronger. At a time when parts of the UK media tie themselves in knots to excuse racism and bigotry we weren’t afraid to call it out.

“I wanted to build a newsroom that lived its values. Flexible home working before Covid, hiring outside of London, helping people navigate busy jobs around mental health issues. An editor that vocally backed our reporters when they were under fire. This should all be bare minimum”

[Read more: Huffpost UK exec editor Jess Brammar says ‘old-fashioned tabloid values’ are at its heart]

In an email to staff, Brammar said she needed to “step back to let the new leadership get to work”.

She added: “I truly believe we created something special over the past few years that has, in its small way, changed the stories that other outlets now cover, the voices they listen to, and the audiences they seek out.

“This is a crazy industry, and there must be something slightly wrong with all of us to be so determined to work in it, but it is also one of the most important parts of our democracy. Now more so than ever, we have to keep making the sort of news that we made, keep calling out the people we did, and keep making trouble for the people in power who deserve it.

“Wherever we all end up, let’s take a bit of the Huffpost UK spirit with us.”

Picture: Huffpost

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