Journalists in job-cuts demo

Journalists, members of the public and supporters were out in force in Norwich to protest about planned cuts to editorial staff at Archant Norfolk.

Journalists, members of the public and supporters were out in force in Norwich today to protest about planned cuts to editorial staff at Archant Norfolk.

The sun shone throughout a three-hour demonstration outside The Forum, organised by the National Union of Journalists (NUJ).

The protest follows proposals to cut 54 editorial staff across publications including the EDP, Evening Norwich, weekly titles and magazines.

A campaign including a Facebook site and a Downing Street petition followed, and the company reduced the cuts to 34.


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Today, protesters vowed to keep up the pressure for further reductions, with father of the chapel Pete Kelley saying any cuts would be an attack on 'local democracy' and the public's right to know what was going on.

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, who joined the demonstration, said: 'Your newspapers are very important to this county. They enrich the county. They help people like me to hold organisations to account.

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'In a democracy it's vital to have quality newspapers to do that. These cuts pose a real threat to the quality of the newspapers. And the way it has been gone about is stupid and cack-handed.'

David Beak, from the NUJ executive, said: 'The fight against redundancies is important across all media, locally, regionally and nationally, including the BBC and ITV. Knowledge is power and when you take away people's knowledge, you take away their power.'

Stephan Phillips managing director of Archant Norfolk said: 'In a democratic society people have the opportunity to air their feelings and we respect that. In addition to this public display, members of staff are coming to see me on a one-to-one basis to air their concerns as well as their own ideas for future ways of working. As we are not funded by taxpayers, like some other media organisations, we have to tackle the financial challenges which we like many other newspapers companies are facing at this time. We are investing significantly in developing a state of the art newsroom which will help our journalists to create stories for both print and web more effectively. We therefore have to look at changes in the way we all work. We will continue to consult with our elected staff representatives to move the process forward.'

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