England

Newspaper journalists pass 'no confidence' vote

Journalists at newspaper publisher Archant Norfolk have passed a vote of no confidence in a senior manager over plans to cut jobs.

Employees passed the unanimous vote against editorial director James Foster at a staff meeting.

They claim there is a "worrying lack of detail" in the proposals and that they have been poorly communicated to staff.

Archant said it was listening to staff and had reduced the number of proposed redundancies.

The vote, involving about 40 of the 135 editorial staff on the papers, was carried out independently of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ).

Digital operation

The union last week voted for a ballot on industrial action.

Last month the company, which publishes papers including the Eastern Daily Press, Evening News, Great Yarmouth Mercury and Lowestoft Journal announced it had launched an editorial review.

The company said it needed to cut costs in order to invest more in its digital operation.

Eighty employees were told their jobs were under threat as the company looked to cut 20 posts in total.

Photographers, feature writers, sports staff and sub-editors are among the staff at risk.

Now staff representatives have written to managing director Johnny Hustler asking him to intervene.

They said: "We feel the company's proposals, as set out, will not only be letting our readers down, but also our paying advertisers who rely on us to produce a high quality product they wish to be associated with."

Among their concerns is how the sports department will cope with job losses, particularly as Norwich City have just been promoted to the Premier League.

In a statement, Archant Norfolk said it was making good progress in its consultation and had reduced the number of expected job losses from 23 to 18.

Mr Foster said: "We were clear at the start of the consultation process that we were committed to listening to the editorial teams.

"We also said that no reporters were at risk during the process. Thanks to the feedback we have had from staff, we have reviewed our plans and in fact increased the number of reporters by four.

"We now move into the next stage of our consultation process."

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