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Threat to jobs is scaled down

PUBLISHED: 13:21 19 March 2009 | UPDATED: 13:23 03 July 2010

THE media group behind the Great Yarmouth Mercury, Lowestoft Journal, EDP, and Norwich Evening News has scaled down its redundancy plans.

Two weeks ago Archant Norfolk revealed proposals to make 54 roles redundant in its 179-strong editorial department.

THE media group behind the Great Yarmouth Mercury, Lowestoft Journal, EDP, and Norwich Evening News has scaled down its redundancy plans.

Two weeks ago Archant Norfolk revealed proposals to make 54 roles redundant in its 179-strong editorial department.

But Stephan Phillips, managing director, confirmed this week the company would now "contain" job losses at 34 posts.

The National Union of Journalists, which started a petition against the cuts on the Downing Street website, welcomed the company's move but said more needed to be done to "safeguard quality journalism."

Mr Phillips said: "We announced that we would consult on a potential of 54 redundancies and following consultation with elected staff representatives we have agreed to limit the redundancies to 34.

"We are committed to the editorial integrity and quality of our titles. The introduction of the new editorial content management system will help us to modernise our newsroom and further develop our award winning titles despite the very challenging economic environment which we, like all other media owners, are currently facing."

Pete Kelley, father of the NUJ chapel at Archant Norfolk, said: "We will be telling them that 34 is still a massive cut in editorial staff. Taking out the news reporters, it represents about 25pc of the remaining editorial strength. It's completely disproportionate in an industry which has seen an average cut in editorial strength closer to 10pc or 12pc over the last year.”

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