Jun 2, 2014

Media briefs: 3AW’s bloke-fest … Fairfax photography… Vice v Gawker

Two of the edgiest websites in the US have declared war on each other.... and other media tid-bits of the day.

Fairfax lightens redundancy numbers. Fairfax Media has, following consultations with staff, reduced the number of photographers it plans to make redundant across its Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra newsrooms. From 30 redundancies from a photographers pool of 40, it's now 22 who will lose their jobs. However, Crikey understands, Fairfax intends to plough ahead with its plan to sign a contract to outsource much of its photographic work to Getty Images. The redundancy round opens today, and from 25 full-time redundancies, the company now expects to make 17, managing director of Australian Publishing Media Allen Williams wrote in an email to staff today. The house committees of The Age and Sydney Morning Herald will meet later today to decide on their response to the emails. Meanwhile, a petition to retain photography at the company started by Fairfax photographer Brendan Esposito has garnered 11,400 supporters. -- Myriam Robin Rolf Harris stories help New Daily's funders educate readers on superannuation. The New Daily has something few media upstarts do -- $3 million in funding  from the nation's biggest industry superannuation funds. Speaking at a conference of new media entrepreneurs in Melbourne on Friday, Paul Hamra, managing director of New Daily's parent company Solstice Media, said New Daily's benefactors were concerned about how there were only two vices (News Corp and Fairfax) in financial journalism, and wanted to help foster new channels of business coverage for the masses. This raised eyebrows at the conference, with some wondering why a site intended to boost financial literacy was covering the whole news cycle. "If we went to nurses with information about superannuation, we'd earn ourselves an instant delete," Hamra said. "The general news is to get their attention." The business plan for The New Daily is to reach half a million email subscribers in five years. So far, 50,000 people have signed up to the daily emails, earning the website 200,000 unique views a month and 1.2 million page impressions. Private Media chairman Eric Beecher is involved in the project, but The New Daily has no relationship with Private Media, which publishes Crikey and other websites. -- Myriam Robin A day in the life of a middle-aged man ... Sorry, did we say middle-aged man? We meant Melbourne. A day in the life of Melbourne. This ad ran in The Age over the weekend, and has been spotted elsewhere. "Great talk" indeed.

  A new American unCivil War. Two of the edgiest websites in the US have declared war on each other. It started with this story in Gawker -- Working at Vice Media Is Not As Cool As It Seems:
"Vice Media is one of the hottest media properties in America. It's the counterculture empire that even Rupert Murdoch could love. Vice's founder, Shane Smith, has speculated his company could raise tens of billions of dollars. So why are its employees so broke and pissed off?"
... and continued with this response from Vice:
"Gawker, a gossip site that openly traffics in rumor, innuendo, and in many cases straight-up bullshit, and whose founder, Nick Denton, has been slapped with a class-action lawsuit by former interns for violating federal wage laws, recently published an inaccurate and irresponsible story about VICE’s workplace. The story is abysmal 'journalism' even by Gawker’s standards, relying on a handful of disgruntled (and of course off-the-record) alleged ex-employees, some of whom reference, a website that hasn’t existed for more than four years. Gawker has been actively trolling for these sources since at least February of this year, when they published a post on their website hoping to draw people into collaborating with them."
We'll update Crikey readers with news from battlefront as it develops.

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