ABC Fact Check goes live. The ABC officially launched its fact checking service today (Crikey told you yesterday its arrival was imminent). Led by Planet America host John Barron and former Fairfax writer Russell Skelton, the ABC Fact Check portal has gone live with six fact checks. Aunty’s fact checkers find Rudd and Abbott were both correct on key economic claims, but finds Bob Carr’s contentious statements about economic migrants unsubstantiated. Crikey hears ABC Fact Check will make its first on-air appearance on the ABC 7pm news tonight.
Fairfax and News sell-off. Media giants Fairfax and News Corp are both shedding troubled assets and relocating their printing facilities to reduce costs. Fairfax Media has lost $5 million on the sale of its InvestSMART business, which it purchased in 2007 for $12 million. Fairfax had bought the 14-year-old online investment business, which allows users to buy from about 4000 managed funds, as part of an online expansion program, but it proved to be unprofitable.
Fairfax has also put its printing plant and offices in Hamilton, New Zealand on the market. The facility is the home of The Waikato Times, and Fairfax plans to lease space from the new owner of the 3.3-hectare site to continue its operations. However, the company plans to eventually lease space for editorial staff elsewhere.
News Corp is also is closing its $40 million newspaper printing plant on the Gold Coast, with 60 jobs to go. The plant prints the Gold Coast Bulletin, which will now be printed in Brisbane at News Corp’s newish plant at Murrarie. The Gold Coast plant had also been used to print copies of The Daily Telegraph, which will also be printed at Murrarie. Sources say the changes will take the total job cuts and relocations on the Gold Coast for News to around 400 since 2010. The classified call centre was relocated to a call centre in Brisbane, and the editorial and advertising staff on the coast are being moved to cheaper office space at Southport. — Glenn Dyer
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