NUJ members meet in Sheffield to organise against Johnston Press redundancy plans that will devastate local papers

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Journalists in Sheffield are today meeting to begin the fightback against 29 job cuts.

Johnston Press plans to axe journalists’ jobs, including two chief photographers, production journalists and planners, at a range of local newspaper titles in the Northern Midlands and South Yorkshire areas.

The company have earmarked ten journalist jobs to go at the Doncaster Free Press, Derbyshire Times, Sheffield Star and sister paper the Sheffield Telegraph. On Friday, the company announced 19 editorial redundancies at the Leeds-based Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post.

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “If Johnston Press want to turn the company’s fortunes around they have to wake up to the fact that its journalists are its best asset. Losing experienced, talented, loyal staff who are passionate about the communities they serve, and the consequential impact on content and quality will do nothing to make more readers turn to their local newspapers, whether in print or online.”

Julia Armstrong, Mother of Chapel at the NUJ Sheffield Newspapers Chapel, said: “Yet again Johnston Press staff are paying the price of poor investment decisions that have left the company at the mercy of the banks. The relaunch of the Sheffield Star and sister paper the Sheffield Telegraph this autumn should be an exciting opportunity but instead jobs are under threat yet again and the staff who are left are already stretched to the limit.

“We can ill afford to lose more journalists with decades of experience; the company should be looking for ways to keep those staff whose jobs are on the line so that they can deliver quality journalism to the people of South Yorkshire – it is what they want and deserve.”


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