Beautiful one day, no job the next. It’s death by a thousand cuts at News Limited, where 17 people have lost their jobs in the Queensland division as part of the centralisation of the company’s national operations. Eleven of the job cuts were voluntary while the remaining six were forced. All 17 were production positions and of the six forced redundancies, three were subeditors and three artists.
A further 10 casuals have been told they won’t be getting any more shifts. It is expected that the other states will follow Queensland and cut their staff numbers as the centralised model begins operation in early July. — Andrew Dodd
Stick to the colonial script. Week three of the Indian students crisis, and they’re at it again, this time Greg Sheridan, who should know better, in Saturday’s Oz: “The Indian students, naturally law abiding and counselled by older community leaders not to overplay their hand, calmed down….”
Ah those biologically-programmed law abiders, who listen to their wise elders. Let’s just recap what happened: Indian students got sick of taking crap and being lied to by lazy cops and politicians, so they took the law into their own hands, practiced civil disobedience and got hauled off Melbourne and Sydney streets, the pictures being flashed around the world. When they got a response, they stopped. ‘Community elders’ — most of who have little relationship to the students who arrive for our education mill — had nothing to do with it.
But despite the evidence that Indian students are more, not less, likely to not knuckle under, and the general lesson of hundreds of years of Indian history, let’s by all mean continue with the colonial script. — Guy Rundle
Fairfax enters the ring. Just a fortnight after News Ltd launched opinion site The Punch, Fairfax has revealed it is to aggregate its opinion content under its long defunct National Times masthead. However, while The Punch has been attempting to find new voices as well as News Ltd old stagers, it appears that the National Times — due to launch in August — will be mainly using comment created by other Fairfax titles. Announcing what Fairfax described as “a significant expansion of journalism by the company,” CEO Brian McCarthy said: ”The best of our opinion writing, commentary and analysis will be aggregated on the site and I believe it will be a beacon for all those people with an interest in politics, policy and current affairs.” The National Times was a weekly Fairfax title from 1971 to 1986. — Mumbrella
Fairfax merges Canberra bureaux. Fairfax will today announce the long-anticipated merger of the Canberra bureaux of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. An announcement was expected this morning but Fairfax managers were left stranded in Sydney when fog blanketed the capital. The Australian Online understands the papers will keep separate political editors and senior writers, but that other reporters will be shared between papers. Fairfax sources said the merger was being sold to staff as a boosting of resources. No job losses were anticipated in the immediate future but are feared down the track. Four separate Fairfax press gallery bureaux currently cover The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Canberra Times and The Australian Financial Review. — The Australian
Bollywood boycott. They may not be influenced by community elders here, but they’re getting support back home. An Indian film workers union has vowed to abandon Australia as a shoot location until the Government takes action on assaults on Indian students. — Al Jazeera
Losing the edge. Since Mumbai, the Twitterverse has been doing a pretty spectacular effort with minute-by-minute news updates—on display again this weekend in the aftermath of the Iranian elections. Pity CNN couldn’t keep up. Tracked via hashtag #CNNfail, CNN.com carried almost no stories all Saturday on the tenth presidential elections of Iran, despite cutting its teeth on Middle East coverage. Readwriteweb
Bush tributes Senior. In honour of his father’s eighty-fifth birthday, Dubya’s written a sweet, but fittingly simple piece for the Daily Beast. Nostalgic musings include this chestnut: “Dad’s a good hunter, too, and one Christmas he gave me a shotgun, a .410. I would go with him to Louisiana to shoot ducks. Those are fond memories”. — The Daily Beast
Au Naturale. Australian sweetheart, Miranda Kerr reckons Rolling Stone magazine are doing a really good thing pushing environmental issues this edition. Good thing she’s also a proponent of “s-x sells”, even if what you’re selling has nothing to do with s-x. — Ninemsn
Dropping like flies. Ten staff working on the racing guides at the Sydney Morning Herald, the Illawarra Mercury and the Age along with twelve Information Services staff were told last week of plans to make them redundant and outsource their jobs to Pagemasters. —MEAA
From the coalface. Other than job statistics and vague references to housing markets, there’s been a resounding silence on the human impact of the economic down turn. Two stories recently have started filling that void. Check out John Birmingham for The Monthly and Barb Ehrenreich for The New York Times. Enrenreich writes, “…the working poor, have already been living in an economic depression of their own. From their point of view “the economy,” as a shared condition, is a fiction.”