Photographers have been targeted in a fresh wave of redundancies at the Manchester Evening News with the head of news role at the Huddersfield Examiner also being cut.
The NUJ has labelled the cuts“short-sighted” and said it was a “self-defeating, damaging plan”.
According to the NUJ three out of eight staff photographic jobs are being axed at the MEN, along with one of three assistant publishing editors, while five new posts are created with a largely digital focus.
The head of news role at the Huddersfield Examiner will be absorbed into the currently vacant post of executive editor digital. Three other roles are also going, including a community content curator and two part-time admin staff.
The restructure of the Trinity Mirror-owned titles comes after Press Gazette revealed today that regional publisher Archant was undertaking a group-wide restructure of its photographic department.
Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, said: “These photographic cuts are an attempt to get content on the cheap and by piling extra work onto other staff.
“They are yet another short-sighted move at massive cost to the very skills and experience needed to produce the quality content readers will buy. This is a self-defeating, damaging plan.”
MEN’s new posts will include two digital sports writers, one trend writer, one city beat reporter and one evening breaking news blogger. The trend writer role will focus on trending content online in a bid to inform the news desk of audience interests.
A digital sports writer will also be appointed at the Examiner.
Chris Morley, NUJ northern and Midlands organiser, said: “Once again news photographers are in the line of fire with media companies in the grip of an obsession that quality news images spring from nowhere or can be plucked relentlessly with no cost or worry from the internet.
“This is a false and damaging belief and such cuts are proving elsewhere to be cuts too far.”
A Trinity Mirror spokesperson said: “MEN Media is introducing six new digital content specialist roles – five in Manchester and one in Huddersfield.
“To allow for creation of these roles, several existing roles are at risk and we have entered a period of consultation with all directly-affected staff.”