Friday, 2 April 2010

Johnston Press journalists 'no confidence' in md

Johnston’s Yorkshire Weekly journalists vote no confidence in managing director Oldham
Journalists at the Johnston Press-owned Yorkshire Weekly Newspaper Group have declared a lack of confidence in managing director Helen Oldham over "the disregard shown to loyal and experienced members of staff in offering them a choice between leaving the company or transferring to a job which may not exist within a matter of weeks."
The decision by journalists at the Johnston Press titles reflects what a chapel resolution identifies as "the lack of goodwill shown to all editorial staff by the abrupt way in which announcements relating to Atex introduction have been made and the lack of information provided on their future roles, workloads and potential health and safety consequences."
The resolution accuses Oldham of  a “tawdry attempt to set workmates against one another by offering those opting not to transfer to Sheffield an additional payment of £2,500 with the threat that this would be withdrawn should they or their colleagues offer any resistance to the Atex implementation process.”
NUJ father of chapel at the Yorkshire Weekly Newspaper Group Dave Pickersgill commented: "There is real anger at the shabby way in which long-serving members of staff have been treated by Johnston Press and the way in which everyone in the editorial teams at our papers have been, and continue to be, kept in the dark about how our jobs and working conditions will be affected."

  • Meanwhile, meda commentator Roy Greenslade has been scathing about Johnston's decision to end its paywall experiment at a number of its weekly papers. He says: "Though I remain sceptical about paywalls working - even at the local or hyperlocal level - I really don't think the Johnston experiment is conclusive proof of anything except the company's own inadequacy. "
  • He also says of one of its major titles: "On a recent visit to Edinburgh I was appalled at the state of The Scotsman. It is not even a shadow of its former self. It is no longer a serious daily paper. No wonder its sales fall week by week."

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