Norfolk newspaper firm plans 20 job cuts

The publisher of the major regional newspapers in Norfolk has announced plans to cut up to 20 jobs.

Archant Norfolk, which publishes the Eastern Daily Press and the Evening News, announced to staff on Tuesday the loss of the editorial posts.

Posts understood to be at risk include photographers, feature writers, production and sports staff.

Despite the loss of the posts, the firm said it hoped to increase the number of local reporters.

The firm is consulting staff over the plans.

'Digital investment'

Following the announcement, Pete Kelley, National Union of Journalists' father of chapel for Archant Norfolk, said: "If this goes ahead as planned, we'd be losing something like one-fifth of our journalists… an astonishing figure.

"These are award-winning, successful community newspapers. They are making a profit... It's down to quality journalists on the EDP, Evening News and our stable of weekly papers.

"They deserve an award, not a kick in the teeth… and we think the public will agree with us about that."

On Tuesday, James Foster, editorial director of Archant Norfolk, said: "We have striven to propose changes which allow us to invest more in our digital operation and at the same time address our costs by making efficiencies in the way we produce and process our newspapers."

Peter Waters, brand editor of the Eastern Daily Press, said: "It is important that we develop even further our connections with the communities that we serve and these proposals are designed to help us achieve that."

In March this year Archant announced 36 jobs at its newspaper printing plant at Thorpe St Andrew, near Norwich, were to be lost.

In March 2009 about 30 editorial jobs were cut from the newspaper group.

Archant Norfolk publishes the Eastern Daily Press, Norwich Evening News, 10 weekly paid-for and free newspaper titles including the Great Yarmouth Mercury and North Norfolk News.

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