May 3, 2017

Editorial bloodbath: Fairfax cuts run deep, staff walk off the job

Fairfax is cutting more than a quarter of its remaining journalists, and it is cutting its state-based editors.

Emily Watkins — Media reporter

Emily Watkins

Media reporter

Fairfax job cuts

Fairfax metropolitan newsrooms will be slashed by a quarter in job cuts announced to staff on Wednesday morning. In response, staff in the metropolitan newsrooms and the press gallery have walked off the job as part of a wildcat strike that they say will last a week. 

In an email from editorial director Sean Aylmer to staff today, he said 125 editorial full-time equivalent positions would be cut in a voluntary redundancy program, including 10 staff who had already gone since a restructure was announced a month ago.

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16 thoughts on “Editorial bloodbath: Fairfax cuts run deep, staff walk off the job

  1. paddy

    Watching the slow motion trainwreck called Fairfax is really very sad.
    I guess only the highly paid execs, contemplating their bonuses for slashing $30 M off the budget, can ignore that rapidly approaching cliff.
    Dark days ahead.

  2. graybul

    Indeed sad! . . . . and beginning of across the board reinvention of traditional commerce, industrial hubs adopting, adapting or; shutting up shop.

    And ex employees . . . faced with a government focussed upon demonising welfare recipients whilst chanting JOBS, JOBS, JOBS . . . . and hoping, hoping; that voiceless, jobless families without bread on tables, will quietly, quietly, embrace their lot.

  3. paddy

    Looks like the journos aren’t going quietly.
    Just called a 7 day strike.

  4. Stephen Mills

    Thank God the Travel and Food round is safe.

  5. Gwen Clark

    I stopped subscribing when they kindly suggested that Baby Boomers should move out of their houses to *somewhere* so that younger generations should have access to their backyards. Ignoring totally that older houses with a proper backyard are usually demolished to make way for dual dwellings. They attack Baby Boomers and older readers again and again, publish(ed) right wing troglodytes like Paul Sheehan and wonder why they lose readership. Compared to Crikey, The Guardian and the New York Times ( all to which I subscribe) the general quality of their journalism is already very poor indeed. I’m not in the least surprised that they are in trouble.

    1. Northy

      If Fairfax was no longer around, who would expose corruption in NSW state and local politics? Who would fight for our vital institutions such as ICAC? Who would shed light on the worst of corporate behaviour? Who would fight for social justice and a fair society? Who would expose tax dodging on a massive scale, and bring attention to issues such as family trusts? Crikey is well meaning, but it simply doesn’t have the reach and resources of Fairfax. No other outlet in Australian media with as much sway as Fairfax focuses on these issues.

      1. AR

        Northy – give it a rest, every time the plain truth about FauxFux is written you leap in with the same stuff.
        If the SMH was still capable of doing any of those things you mention it once did there would be no crisis.
        Your Uncle Hywood has been shedding journos. for a decade. It’s over, tell him when you get your next cheque that the game is up.

  6. bushby jane

    The assumption is that their revenue is the problem, so why don’t they try to sell more newspapers, they sure are hard to find whereas News papers are everywhere.

  7. Duncan Gilbey

    Restructuring (or “Rightsizing”) and cost slashing has been going on in the rest of the workforce for the last 30 years, with Fairfax journos cheering from the sidelines.
    To paraphrase the Niemöller poem:

    “First they came for the State Owned Enterprises and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not part of a State Owned Enterprise.
    Then they came for the Car Industry, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not in the Car Industry.
    Then they came for the Welfare Recipients, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Welfare Recipient.
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

    What goes around…

    1. AR

      Which applies triple for the inevitable purge of the remaining churnalists at NewsCorpse – not a tear should be shed for them considering how they’ve enabled this neolib nuttiness.

  8. AR

    What function does Fuaxfux serve? It began slashing journos. years ago then pretended to wonder why people stopped buying it when they wanted news.
    It feels like a free suburban throwaway so why pay money for crap squeezed between ads and lifestyle food & travel advertorials?
    Then the prime example ““state-based topics” should have been “state-based editors” on the chopping block. yes, exactly, newspapers need journos & half awake sub editors to be worth buying.

  9. John Hall

    I am an Age & Crikey subscriber. The Age is getting very Aged in its content – these cutbacks looks like it may be becoming a Zombie publication. Sad for Melbourne.

  10. klewso

    Is it me or is “media news” more an issue for ‘media’ than it is for the great unwashed?

    1. Bob's Uncle

      I think the very real prospect of News Limited having a virtual monopoly over printed news in Australia – while the Murdochs take over what is left of Channel 10 – could end up effecting a lot more than just those who work in the media.

      1. klewso

        Granted and no doubt – welcome to “Queensland gnus” – but there are other things happening at the moment of more import and “headline act” worthy.

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