Journalism

Aug 14, 2012

The flight from Fairfax: who’s leaving the building?

Fairfax is accepting voluntary redundancies until August 24, but it’s already clear an enormous amount of talent -- and experience -- is leaving the company. Crikey is compiling a list of editorial staff who have announced or confirmed their departure ...

In June, Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood announced a dramatic plan to shed 1900 jobs in a bid to slash the company’s costs. Applications for voluntary redundancies have closed and it’s clear an enormous amount of talent — and experience — is leaving the company.

11 comments

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11 thoughts on “The flight from Fairfax: who’s leaving the building?

  1. Jim McDonald

    Is it time for a professional journalist led news cooperative? There is the medium. There are the experiments [“Crickey” for mine is actually a weekly with daily updates] that provide lessons. There is the reader demand away from the ludicrously self-important and Fox News-like bias of the “Australian”, the relative success of the opinion pages on the net, the willingness of people to source their news & opinion from the web, the need for the ascendancy of professional news gatherers to offset the loony element on the net, and the role of social media [not FB though] in highlighting news. I wouldn’t pay for the online versions of the newspapers [it’s still more prefeable in my view to read hard copy of the paper on the loo and it doesn’t break if you drop it on the floor] but I might look at paying for such a collective [I do for Crikey]. Just some thoughts….

  2. Kate

    I am shocked by this loss of talent at The Age newspaper. I dread what this will do to the product. Shaun Carney, Jo Chandler, are huge losses in particular. I also hope that there is an alternative developed- there is a wealth of great journalists and writers who could form an independent media outlet. I doubt that will be in print, unfortunately. Crikey in its present form does not really provide that alternative.

  3. Carolyn Hirsh

    Everyone is leaving! What will the paper look like? I suppose Amanda bloody vanstone will keep writing for the Age. Perhaps they could get Gina Reinhart to do a column.

  4. Arty

    I have been assuming that I will succumb to the offer of the electronic SMH for some to-be-defined payment.

    But I would like to see the list of people who will be left to produce the all new smaller SMH.

    I would also like to know how many of the departed will be invited to sometimes produce copy for the SMH providing they have an ABN.

  5. Roberto Tedesco

    It’s a shame that the SMH didn’t see fit to get rid of Sheehan and Henderson…

  6. 3217

    The loss of so much talent is very hard to bear. I am an old pensioner who enjoys his daily “Hit” with the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. I simply do not have the financial resources to buy the paper editions.

    But, if it meant that these good people could continue in employment I would scrounge the money from somewhere to pay for the quality journalism I have always enjoyed (and not always agreed with!)

    I was thrown on the scrap heap during the banana republic recession we had to have and know what hardship is, and the price I’ve had to pay for being bored to tears without employment.

  7. Matt

    The only one of the SMH crew I’ll miss is Doug Anderson. We shall not see his like again, I fear.

  8. Allamanda 14

    As a resident of Brisbane, where the only printed local daily is the Courier Mail (say no more), I am saddened and disappointed to see the departure of so many quality journalists from the SMH.

  9. Claire

    As a former (Fairfax, etc.) sub-editor, I’d like to make the point that a high proportion of any publication’s quality is due to good subbing. Subs write the headlines and other “furniture”; they also spare the blushes of the poor writers (of whom there are a surprising number, even on top newspapers) by skilful editing.

    Production journalists have always been first in the firing line because the bean-counters don’t appreciate their importance – so if you have found yourself wondering why your favourite writer suddenly seems to be producing convoluted phrases containing factual, spelling and/or grammatical errors, that’s why.

    While on the subject, I’d also like to lament the online death of the clever headline. It’s all about SEO these days, leaving little or no leeway for those delightful puns we’ve all relished over the years.

  10. Elbow Patches

    Agree with Claire the loss of the puns has been a punishment…

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