Wednesday, 16 December 2009

NUJ claims staffing levels at Financial Times are now too low and workloads too high

NUJ members at the Financial Times have launched the latest step in their campaign to combat what they say are unsustainable workloads at the paper.
They claim that cutbacks to editorial staffing levels over recent years coupled with the demands of new technology mean the pressures on journalists have become too great.
NUJ general secretary, Jeremy Dear, speaking at a meeting of the union’s members at the paper as part of a campaign day of action said: “The FT prides itself on the quality of its journalism. But if you want quality, you’ve got to make the editorial investment that will deliver it.
“Journalists at the FT show an incredible level of commitment. The current standards can only be maintained because of the pride the company’s staff take in their work and the fact they will go far beyond what should be expected of any worker.
“Management need to listen carefully to their journalists: they’re the people who know what counts when it comes to quality, and they’re saying that current situation is unsafe and unprofessional.”
A newsletter produced by the NUJ chapel committee, distributed to staff today says:
"The sheer potential of new technology means that it inevitably increases the workload on journalists, who find that there are many more demands on them to exploit the technical possibilities to the full. New technology therefore means demands for more content – not just displaying the same content in different ways.
“That means we need more reporters, editors and production journalists, not less. Yet staffing has been cut to the bone.”
The chapel is undertaking a survey of stress levels among the editorial workforce. Union reps have written to management to raise their concerns and flyers and stickers were today handed out to staff to highlight the NUJ campaign.

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