Newsquest, publisher of the Herald and Evening Times, is giving redundancy notices to more than 230 journalists and giving them the “opportunity” to apply for “new” jobs. 30 to 40 hacks will get the bullet. According to Media Guardian:
The move is seen as a way of dismantling a powerful National Union of Journalists chapel at the group, which publishes the Herald, Evening Times and Sunday Herald, according to one senior insider.
Political and trades union leaders in Scotland also said they were shocked and alarmed by the scale of the restructuring measures implemented by Newsquest, which is owned by US newspaper company Gannett.
“The worry really is that what they’re really trying to do is slash wages and conditions. So if you go for a job, it will be a much lower paid one,” the Herald & Times Group source said.
“This is all to do with the fact that the Herald is a relatively well-paid newspaper. What they clearly want to do is to put these jobs on provincial English pay rates. What they just can’t understand is why the Herald should be paying more than they do in Southampton or Bradford,” the insider added.
…Circulation of both the Scotsman and the Herald have been in steep decline, which many observers believe has been accelerated by staff cuts at both titles and their failure to adapt quickly to the digital news industry.
And as I’ve already argued over what I fear will be similar dramatic developments to come at the Daily Record and Sunday Mail, progress should and could be made to benefit quality journalism, not in spite of it.
Is it any surprise that sales have fallen at a time when there is less quality journalism, campaigns and investigations to lure readers in?
Where is the tipping point? How mundane and bland to we have to make these fine institutions before there is no point printing papers of record at all?