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December 11, 2014

Photography jobs cut at Reuters and Newsquest

By Emily Shackleton

Photography jobs are being cut at Newsquest and London-based global news agency Reuters.

According to the NUJ, there are also questions over photographer jobs at The Times where photographers are said to have been required to reapply for their jobs. A spokesman for The Times declined to comment.

Reuters’ staff photographers are to be reduced from 18 to 15, the union reports, and Newsquest announced that it is cutting six photographers from its north London and Midlands titles.

Four photographers on Newsquest titles in the Midlands, including the Bromsgrove Advertiser, will be reduced to one full-time equivalent by Newsquest, and its photoraphers in north London will be halved from six to three.

A letter written by Newsquest north London group editor Tim Jones said that the cuts were due to a "reduced space in our titles, the improvement in the quality and quantity of mobile devices used extensively throughout the department and an increase in the number of pictures submitted to the newsdesk from external sources".

Chris Morley, NUJ Northern and Midlands organiser, said: “The all-out assault by newspaper companies against their staff photographers is in danger of wiping out a whole, critical and valuable skilset from the newsroom as we know it.

“In the latest mania, Newsquest has reached new levels of brutality in the supposed season of goodwill. It has put livelihoods to the sword in the space of a fortnight, from the first shock staff announcement to the letter telling our members they are getting their P45.”

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This year has also seen Johnston Press axing a number of its photography staff. The publisher has cut photographer jobs across the country, including those in Scotland, the Midlands, the Northwest and the South Publishing Unit.

A spokesman for Reuters (photography homepage pictued above) said: "At a time of increasing competition, we need to work in the most efficient way we can and avoid internal duplication. Putting ourselves on a more solid financial footing will allow us to keep our place as the world leader in high quality news and sport photography." 

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