News Corp staff in Brisbane, reeling from news of severe cuts to the photography and production desks across the company, have released a scathing vote of no confidence in management.
“Senior News Corp management needs to be held accountable for its poor business decisions, lack of vision and inability to consult with their employees,” the resolution said.
The resolution targeted News Corp’s inability to make its digital products pay:
“On a daily basis we see our masthead’s paywall breached by news.com.au and other News Corp mastheads. We are yet to see any business innovation that turns the online model into a paying model and believe senior management needs to identify to staff the business plan to increase revenue beyond staff cost cutting … We are appalled that across Queensland we have worked to build our online presence and connect to our markets but we are still unable to maintain a paywall or deliver papers in some regional areas before 11am.”
The unanimous resolution called on management to brief staff on News’ business model, allow for feedback on where it’s failing, and to consult on this before downsizing editorial staff numbers.
Staff at the meeting voted against three days of industrial action in response to the cuts.
News Corp told tabloid newspaper staff in the Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne newsrooms on Tuesday it would drastically cut photographer numbers, and it would restructure the production desks in a bid to cut costs. Eleven of The Advertiser’s 25 photographers will be cut, and job numbers have not yet been decided at the other papers.
A News Corp Australia spokeswoman told Crikey this morning that news agency AAP would be increasing its photographic staff to support the new News Corp model, which will rely on freelancers and agency staff as well as a core staff of photographers. She said all redundant photographers would be offered interviews with AAP. — Emily Watkins