Home » Open Democracy cuts about ten jobs, including head of news and political correspondent

Open Democracy cuts about ten jobs, including head of news and political correspondent

Non-profit newsroom Open Democracy is cutting about ten jobs, including its head of news, news editor and political correspondent.

The redundancy process has not yet finished but approximately ten roles are expected to go, Press Gazette understands.

The publisher says on its website that at the end of 2023 it had 52 team members which would make the cuts equivalent to about a fifth – however Press Gazette has been told the current headcount is closer to 30, meaning the latest cuts affect around a third of staff.

Chief executive Satbir Singh and editor-in-chief Aman Sethi, both appointed in the past year, said in a statement that the publication had been hit by “wider industry trends that include rising inflation and an uncertain funding environment”. Those trends were exacerbated by the cessation of some previous funding.

Singh and Sethi said they “have not made this decision lightly” and that they had been “fortunate that we had an opportunity to work with these wonderful, talented journalists and we are proud of everything we have accomplished together”.

The business expects to be back to break even upon the end of the redundancy round.

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Several affected staff members took to X/Twitter to announce they had lost their jobs, prompting messages of support from the industry.

Head of news Ramzy Alwakeel said it was “one dark day of many for British journalism” but that “I know everyone who is leaving this week will go on to shine just as brightly elsewhere… I hope we’ve made a positive difference.”

Political correspondent Ruby Lott-Lavigna too announced she had lost her job, saying “it is a sad day for radical, not-for-profit media (but also this seems strangely inevitable in this industry)”.

News editor Sam Gelder and reporters Adam Bychawski and Anita Mureithi also announced they are being made redundant.

Press Gazette understands the cuts are affecting both the editorial and commercial sides of the organisation.

NUJ senior organiser David Ayrton said it was “a sad day to see so many talented journalists out of a job and that this campaigning, progressive not for profit media organisation has had to make such cuts…

“We at the NUJ are confident that the much smaller group of remaining journalists will do their utmost to continue to keep up the excellent work carried out at Open Democracy.”

In 2022, its most recently reported financial year, Open Democracy said it received £3.44m in income, nearly 80% of which came from grants. In 2021 that figure was £2.96m and in 2020 it was £2.27m.

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