SOME journalists working for Newsquest North-East are taking part in industrial action today. Our newspapers will be on sale as normal and our websites will be unaffected.
Businesses across the world are having to adapt, and embrace new technology, to remain competitive. The media industry is facing huge structural change and Newsquest North-East has responded by investing in a state-of-the-art editorial system which will make journalists’ jobs significantly easier. It will enable us to publish our content far more efficiently across multi-digital platforms and in print.
A consequence of this necessary change is that part of the sub-editing process will be transferred to a production centre in Wales.
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Eleven individual members of staff are affected, accounting for just over eight full-time employees, and we fully appreciate that this is an anxious time for them.
However, five new roles – three full-time and two part-time – have been created in Darlington, while other vacancies are available in the company’s Yorkshire and North-East division and other parts of the country, including Wales.
A commitment has already been given that there will be no compulsory redundancies.
All key editorial decisions and judgments will continue to be made in the North-East, including final output of pages to our print centres.
News gathering by an unrivalled number of local reporters and photographers is completely unaffected.
Consultations began in November and are ongoing, and the Company is disappointed that members of the National Union of Journalists have chosen to take industrial action which is considered to be disproportionate and counter-productive to the long established business which employs them.
David Coates Regional Managing Director Newsquest Yorkshire & North East