Toe cutters with a heart know that
the most humane way to slash staff it is to ask people to nominate for
voluntary redundancies. Rather than booting people out the door, the
most disgruntled and disheartened self-nominate, egged-on by a sweet
little redundancy payout.

At Fairfax, the strategy seems to be working. Sources at The Age tell Crikey there has been a stampede for the current packages on offer. One source writes: “Senior staff of the Age
have become so disenchanted with editor.. that when final applications
for redundancies closed last Friday, 52 people had put their hand up.
Included in these were some of the most senior news editors on staff.
If 40 of these applications are accepted, (as has been suggested), the
paper will be in imminent danger of collapsing.”

Meanwhile at Darling Park an SMH insider
says morale is just as low – the paper received the least number of
Walkey Awards in its history last Thursday night and “more dumbing down
is set to come…”

“There is a thinking that they’ll accept
everyone who’s stuck their hand up.. they wanted 35 of them… looks
like they’re pretty close to that number,” the source says. “Most of
the photographers stuck their hands up and a lot of senior editorial
people have put their hand up. It’s not a happy ship.”