No meaningful consultation at Telegraph over 6am-midnight shift moves, says NUJ

The National Union of Journalists says there has been no meaningful consultation at the Telegraph over plans to dramatically change working practices.

The NUJ has official recognition at the paper but union officials were only informed of the changes to work patterns shortly before the rest of staff.

This week Telegraph Media Group began a restructure which will see journalists split into two shifts: one starting at 6am and one finishing at midnight.

According to The Guardian, each desk will be required to provide five deliverable ideas each day including one video, one shareable and one interactive.

One source quoted by The Guardian said that online content will be treated as a buffet from which to create the paper by a production department which makes heavy use of templates.

The print paper will however retain exclusive content.

Reportedly the paper's main editorial conference will now happen at 8am.

Under editor in chief in Jason Seiken the Telegraph, who has now been in the job for a year, the title has seen a sharp increase in web traffic and a continuing print decline.

In August print sales of the Telegraph dropped 8.2 per cent to 511,857 while average daily web browsers grew 15 per cent year on year to 3.6m.

According to the NUJ, the Telegraph is moving towards 80 per cent of its content being digital-only.

NUJ national organiser Laura Davison said: “The views of journalists must be at the heart of any digital transition strategy. Protecting and bolstering quality journalism remains paramount or readers will not buy the product, whatever format it’s in.

“These new shifts and working practices will have a big impact on the way Telegraph journalists will be expected to work. There must be meaningful consultation on these changes which also takes account of particular individual circumstances. There are many more questions that need to be answered on the strategy and the NUJ chapel will be meeting to discuss the plans.”

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