The NUJ today congratulated the editor of the South Yorkshire Times for putting details of a potential journalists' strike against editorial job cuts at the Johnston Press-owned paper on the front page of the newspaper this week.
It follows the Johnston Press move to make half of the paper's editorial staff in Mexborough redundant. The editor, the editorial assistant and a reporter, out of a staff of six, are facing losing their jobs.
NUJ members at South Yorkshire Newspapers have already voted unanimously to ballot for strike action over the proposed redundancies.
South Yorkshire Times editor Jim Oldfield said: "This is real journalism in action. The Times is currently fighting a brave and protracted battle to keep its core towns from decimation during this recession, I make no apology for acquainting our readers with the changes being proposed for their champion title.
"I am pleased that the company appear to have had an adult reaction to the story."
NUJ Northern and Midlands regional organiser Chris Morley said: “So often news about local job cuts and industrial action are given prominence in local and regional newspapers – except when those newspapers are the subject for these.
“It is time editors stopped self-censoring their newspapers for fear of displeasing the corporate owners who are robbing them of the editorial resources to produce their own newspaper and website. I congratulate the editor of the South Yorkshire Times for being prepared to carry out his duty to the community his newspaper serves. It is important readers know the facts about the cuts and that Johnston Press hear from the staff and communities affected by the their cuts."
NUJ general secretary-elect Michelle Stanistreet said: "This is a great example of our members standing up for quality journalism and we hope other editors will follow the example set by the South Yorkshire Times."
- Click on 'Strike looms' story to make it bigger if you can't read it. In a statement, carried inside the South Yorkshire Times, a JP spokesman said the company is planning a new multimedia editorial hub in Doncaster and the new plans "will allow the South Yorkshire Times and its sister titles to meet the challenges faced by newspapers in today's very tough economic marketplace."