Journalists at The Scotsman have publicly criticised “constant cost-cutting” by owner JPI Media as several staff face redundancy.
JPI Media revealed plans to cut up to 70 full-time editorial jobs across its regional titles earlier this year.
The company said ten roles were at risk across Scotsman Publications, which publishes dailies The Scotsman and the Edinburgh Evening News, as well as the weekly Scotland on Sunday.
Staff at the newspapers said yesterday that they believed JPI Media was “keen to see the loss of trained journalists and the demise of the print product” while hiring “low-paid digital journalists”.
Members of the National Union of Journalists’ chapel for the titles also criticised “a constant process of cost-cutting” since Johnston Press titles were acquired by JPI Media last year out of administration.
Staff have pushed for management to explain “how they imagine we’re supposed to get the papers out with the staff we have left”.
The Scotsman Publications NUJ chapel said in a statement: “We deplore publicly the loss of so many of our hard-working and valued colleagues who are leaving this week.
“While they have all been classed as voluntary redundancies, we recognise that they are extremely reluctant to leave a job and a paper that they love.”
The chapel added: “This latest round of jobs cuts leaves the remaining staff questioning how they can possibly produce their newspapers under what would reasonably be considered intolerable conditions.
“There has been little or no guidance from our managers – rather, there has been almost total silence on what our future holds.”
NUJ national organiser John Toner said: “The staff on the Edinburgh titles have worked under increasing pressure in recent years, and their anger is completely understandable.
“Simply put – they have been struggling with their workloads for some time and are now wondering how they will be able to cope with this latest loss of jobs.”
The NUJ rep added that JPI Media “must start listening” to the concerns of its staff.
Press Gazette has contacted JPI Media for a response to its open letter from staff, but has yet to receive a statement.
The publisher, which is owned by former Johnston Press bondholders, has made a series of cuts since the start of the year. It was revealed on Monday that JPI Media would close ten local newspapers across the UK, following previous reports of three other titles facing closure.
The company said no redundancies would result from those closures, with staff focusing on other titles instead.
Picture: The Scotsman