Fair Go Fairfax


“Independent and fearless journalism that holds power to account requires investment and support from management. These cuts are a short-sighted measure that undermine the journalism readers want and expect from these mastheads.

— MEAA CEO Paul Murphy

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Do you want fake news or do you want Fairfax journos to break news? If it's the latter, it's time to speak up. www.fairgofairfax.org.au #FairGoFairfax

Posted by Save the SMH on Thursday, 4 May 2017

Don't risk losing the quality journalism you know and love. #FairGoFairfax

Posted by Save the SMH on Thursday, 4 May 2017

Rohan Connolly being a sport and standing up for the cause.

Here's respected Age football reporter Rohan Connolly doing the #FairGoFairfax campaign proud. Cutting 125 staff – taking it to 450 people in the last five years – is no way to manage a media company. Thanks to sports reporters from all outlets for your support. Means a lot.

Posted by Save The Age on Friday, 5 May 2017

Australian media personalities have shown their support for Fairfax staff fighting the most proportionately brutal staff cuts in the history of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. #FairGoFairfax #SaveTheSMH

Posted by Save the SMH on Monday, 8 May 2017

Coming to you live from Parliament House Canberra: journalists from the SMH and the Age are here to highlight the impact the cuts to their newsrooms will have on democracy and the public’s right to know what politicians and governments are doing. #fairgofairfax

Posted by MEAA on Sunday, 7 May 2017

Leading voices in Australia's arts world speak out against savage cuts to arts coverage in The SMH and The Age. Sign the petition at www.fairgofairfax.org.au #FairGoFairfax #savethesmh

Posted by Save the SMH on Saturday, 6 May 2017

In their own words:Melburnians on why they love their Age.

There are so many reasons Melburnians love The Age. Here, 125 readers share what The Age means to them – and why they don't want to see 125 Fairfax staff walk out the door. It's goosebumps stuff. #FairGoFairfax #SaveTheAge

Posted by Save The Age on Monday, 8 May 2017

Thanks for your support

Staff at the Age are back at work today and wanted to show their gratitude to everyone who showed their support during the strike. #Fairgofairfax www.fairgofairfax.org.au

Posted by Save The Age on Tuesday, 9 May 2017

On World Press Freedom Day, May 3 2017,  Fairfax Media announced it would cut 1-in-4 journalists from its metropolitan newsrooms in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. That’s a loss of 125 journalists.

Fairfax has a proud history of investing in independent journalism. It’s in everything the company does, even the slogan on its mastheads: “Independent. Always”. Fairfax journalists are recognised for their award-winning work, scrutinising and analysing the powerful while providing news, information and entertainment for their audience.

But that tradition is under threat.

Between 2011 and 2016, Fairfax used regular redundancy rounds to cut almost 800 jobs from its editorial staff across the country. About 420 of those jobs came from the Metro daily newspaper divisions, more than 300 from its Regional newspapers, and more jobs have gone from the local Community newspapers. Those numbers don’t include attrition – where people who have resigned from the company have not been replaced.

Now the company is making a further $30 million in cuts to its metropolitan mastheads’ editorial budget, with the proposed loss of 25% of its remaining journalists.

The thing is, Fairfax newsrooms around Australia have already lost a wealth of skill and experience. For the editorial staff that remain, their workload has massively intensified, particularly as they are required to constantly write, produce and develop stories for a variety media platforms.

The equation is simple: Fewer journalists = Fewer stories. Fewer journalists means less scrutiny of government, less holding the powerful to account, less public interest journalism. And that means democracy itself is undermined.

Help save jobs and maintain quality journalism at Fairfax.

Follow the campaign

Twitter: follow @withMEAA and @fairgofairfax and use #FairGoFairfax.

Facebook: follow MEAA, Save the SMH, and Save the Age.

 

Negotiations resume

Representatives of Fairfax journalists met with the company’s executives on Thursday May 11 to seek the company’s intentions. The company has remained firm on its 125 full-time equivalent reduction to staff numbers – that’s 1-in-4 journalists in metropolitan newsrooms.

Journalists and redundancy – what it means

The Fairfax journalists may have returned to work after their seven-day strike action but now they are busy trying to save the 125 journalist jobs (1-in-4) that the company intends to cut as a result of its proposed restructure. Between 2011-2016 Fairfax made at least 470 of its metropolitan daily journalists redundant – as recently as 2016, 120 journalist positions were lost at the metro daily papers as a result of a redundancy round. And those job losses in the newsroom don’t include the attrition that occurred when people resigned from Fairfax and were not replaced. For the journalists who remain, their workload massively intensifies – not least with journalists now having to work on several publishing platforms at once: print, online, social. But as the media industry undergoes massive transformation from digital disruption, journalists who have been made redundant cannot simply step into another journalism job where they can utilise their skills, experience and vast network of contacts and sources. Read this story on The Conversation about the New Beats research project: Life after redundancy: what happens next for journalists when they leave newsrooms.

Senate inquiry into the future of journalism

MEAA welcomes the creation of a Senate select committee to inquire and report on the future of public interest journalism in the wake of Fairfax journalists striking over the loss of 125 jobs or 1-in-4 in metropolitan newsrooms.

Back at work but the fight continues

The Fairfax journalists who voted to go on strike for seven days have now returned to work. They have courageously stood up for quality journalism by protesting job cuts that would see 1-in-4 jobs disappear from metropolitan newsrooms. They have stood up, not only for their colleagues, but for Fairfax publications and the audiences they serve. They took a brave stand because losing a further 125 journalists from newsrooms already savaged by years of job losses, cannot continue to produce the independent quality journalism the community needs and deserves. This fight is not yet over – the jobs are still on the line. We urge you to support quality journalism by subscribing to the news media of your choice. Great journalism doesn’t come free. If you value the news you use then please help support and sustain it. Because fewer journalists = fewer stories.

Striking Fairfax journalists return to work

Striking Fairfax journalists will return to work en masse in Sydney, Melbourne Brisbane and Canberra from 9am tomorrow with their heads held high after a highly successful public campaign highlighting Fairfax Media’s harmful proposal to cut 1-in-4 editorial positions or 125  journalists from its metropolitan mastheads. Members will seek to recommence negotiations with the company on several outstanding issues. The incredible public response to our campaign in the last seven days shows the depth of concern in the community about the impact of these cuts, and the support for our efforts to fight for every job. Our campaign has also elevated the debate about the future of independent public interest journalism.

The Press Express goes to Canberra

Monday was another incredible day of determined campaigning by striking Fairfax staff with plenty of activity from one end of the country to the other. There has been very strong support from among the arts community with videos being circulated far and wide, triggering considerable media attention as people realise what could soon be lost if entertainment and arts coverage is cut. Days of petition signing in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne have generated more than 10,000 signatures. Yesterday more than 60 journalists travelled from Sydney and Melbourne to link-up with colleagues in Canberra for a bbq on the lawns of Parliament House. The 2pm rally attracted plenty of media attention and you can see the brief Facebook livestream of the event here. This was followed up with a question on the ABC’s Q&A program about the future of journalism in the face of such massive job losses.

Prominent Australians condemn what the cuts will mean to journalism

The Fair Go, Fairfax campaign is being supported by many prominent Australians concerned at what the impact of the Fairfax cuts (1-in-4 journalists in the metropolitan newsrooms) will mean – particularly to coverage of entertainment and the arts. They include: film critic Margaret Pomeranz, Sydney Festival director Wesley Enoch, author Peter Carey, Nine Network political editor Laurie Oakes, novelist Charlotte Wood, author and satarist John Safran, writer and actor Marieke Hardy, actor Richard Roxburgh, musician Yael Stone, the Australian Ballet, journalist Barrie Cassidy, comedian Nazeem Hussein, broadcaster Amanda Keller and many others.

Fairfax journalists write to Fairfax board directors and shareholders

The journalists’ open letter, addressed to the company’s shareholders and board members, sets out the journalists’ case for the company to act smarter by investing in the company’s quality journalism rather than undermining the company’s products by making yet more radical cost-savings cuts by forcing redundancies on editorial staff. It says the Fairfax board of directors’ strategy of “cutting the way to profitability” is flawed. The letter makes the point that Fairfax businesses flourish because of the company’s journalism and that, because of this, Fairfax should invest in its journalism because it makes sound business sense. The letter cites the plan to float the Domain business as an example.

Fairfax journalists build the public campaign

Journalists have been out and about in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra encouraging public support for the Fair Go, Fairfax campaign. They’ve been talking to their audience who are responding enthusiastically to the campaign by signing pledges and sending emails to Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood. The campaign has been engaging people on social media. Please join us!

Worldwide support for Fairfax journalists come flooding in

From Vanuatu to France, Sweden to Tunisia, Turkey to Timor-Leste… Messages of support for Fairfax journalists have come flooding in from around the world. The global journalist association, the International Federation of Journalists has called on Fairfax to remedy the situation without losing jobs. The global International Trade Union Confederation, representing more than 180 million trade union members around the world expressed support for the Fair Go Fairfax campaign. Other messages of support were received from journalist associations in Britain and Ireland, Sweden, Spain, Ukraine and Belgium. You can read the statements here:

Fairfax staff vote to take industrial action for seven days

In stop-work meetings on the afternoon of May 3 2017 – UNESCO World Press Freedom Day – Fairfax editorial staff voted to take industrial action for seven days.

Staff are disgusted at the company’s decision to cut 25 per cent of its journalists as part of $30 million in cost savings. The decision means that 125 full-time equivalent positions will be lost.

The cuts are so deep that the Fairfax mastheads will have to dramatically reduce their reporting of significant areas of Australian life.

MEAA CEO Paul Murphy said: “In doing so, the company will be failing its audiences and leaving the journalists who remain behind having to work harder and harder to plug the gaps.”

In resolutions passed at the meetings, the editorial staff:

• rejected the cuts proposed by the company,
• will not accept any forced redundancies,
• want any voluntary rounds to be open for at least three weeks (as opposed to the company’s one week), and
• want senior management to take a 25 per cent pay cut.

Murphy said: “The editorial staff are really angry. They think the company has made a terrible decision that is not in the best interests of the company, its audience or its staff.”

Fairfax marks World Press Freedom Day by cutting 25 per cent of its journalists

At 10am on the morning of May 3 2017 – UNESCO World Press Freedom Day – Fairfax Media’s management revealed it would cut 125 full-time equivalent positions, or 25 per cent of its journalists, from its metropolitan newspapers.
The decision indicates that, yet again, Fairfax is opting for savage cuts that will only weaken its business further rather than investing in its products and working to achieve smarter outcomes.

MEAA CEO Paul Murphy says: “None of the other parts of the Fairfax business are worth anything without the journalism and yet it is the journalism that Fairfax always cuts.

“This will only undermine and damage its mastheads further, alienating its audience and leaving the editorial staff that remain having to work harder and harder to fill the gaps. This is a dumb decision,” Murphy said.

Fairfax staff condemn latest cuts

At meetings on April 7 2017, MEAA members in the Fairfax Sydney and Melbourne newsrooms have strongly condemned the $30 million cut to the editorial budget announced by Fairfax management. Journalists called on the company to demonstrate it is serious about genuine consultation with staff to achieve savings while not cutting jobs.

MEAA Media section director Katelin McInerney said members on the floor were invested in the future of the Fairfax mastheads and the independence of their journalism.

“The Fairfax brand of independent journalism is attracting a record number of subscribers and readers because these journalists deliver the kind of fearless and objective journalism audiences in a post-truth world are so reliant upon,” she said.

“MEAA members in these newsrooms are committed to the delivery of fearless and objective journalism. That is why they are calling on the new leadership team at Fairfax to work with journalists at the coal face to find better ways to deliver that news, and find smarter sustainable ways to achieve savings. They reject the old lazy targeting of the very people the company relies upon; the people whose talent, skills and story-telling innovation are the key to the future success of the Fairfax brand of journalism,” McInerney said.

The meetings also roundly rejected attempts by management to impose ideological direction and to interfere with masthead independence and their fair and fearless journalism.

“The Fairfax motto ‘Independent. Always’ and the dedication of Fairfax journalists to that motto underpins public trust in Fairfax – they believe any departure from that would be a betrayal of the trust audiences put in them,” McInerney said.

Look good and show your support for Fairfax journalists by proudly wearing one of these t-shirts! Go to our online shop to purchase a t-shirt for $27.50.

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Don’t miss out on this collector’s item. Go to our online shop to purchase a t-shirt for $27.50 (including postage and GST).

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You can find international statements of support for Fairfax journalists here

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian: “My heart goes out to those people who were told today they [may] no longer have jobs. It is a difficult pill to swallow, especially because I’m someone who respects true journalism, the art of journalism. I don’t want us to lose that.”

Rory Jeffes, managing director, Sydney Symphony Orchestra: “I write as the Managing Director of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra to express my deep concern at proposals we understand are being considered by Fairfax again to reduce coverage of the arts and make the positions of specialised staff arts writers redundant.
For performing arts companies, and individual artists, a culture of robust and independent arts criticism provides a critical link with their communities. It is a vital part of the virtuous circle of performance delivered and response returned that equips us all to further develop our work and strive for ever higher standards.
Your specialist writers and reviewers make government-funded arts institutions accountable to their audiences. They give your readers informed opinion in making decisions about their own participation in their community’s cultural life and in making balanced choices in cities with an ever-growing range of arts and entertainment options available.
By employing specialist writers who intelligently report on the arts, you encourage rigorous and thoughtful cultural debate on the role of the arts in this country. These are the same conversations that take place in political, social and economic arenas; it is myopic to place “the arts” in a silo – as if somehow disconnected from broader societal issues.
The vibrancy of the arts is an important measure of a civilised society; they are not an add-on, and the calibre of arts embedded in that society represent one of the pillars of its worth as perceived both by that community and from outside. Cutting specialised coverage of the arts, and its unique role in informing and inspiring, would represent a direct blow to the cultural reputation of our nation resonating far beyond your pages.
Intelligent, informed arts coverage both records our nation’s cultural journey and is central to its future development. Without it, artists’ and performers’ work would become a moment lost in the winds of passing time.
On behalf of the whole sector, we urge you to maintain your unique role as informed arbiters of our nation’s cultural life.
Rory Jeffes,
managing director,  Sydney Symphony Orchestra”

National Press Club president Chris Uhlmann: “We are all disappointed to hear about the job losses at Fairfax today.”

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten:  “Very sad to hear about job losses across Fairfax newsrooms today. A very hard day for Fairfax staff, and a great loss for all of us.

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (VIC): “Nurses and midwives stand in solidarity with Fairfax journalists – ANMF (Vic Branch) stands in solidarity with Fairfax journalists, photographers, sub-editors and editorial staff taking unprotected industrial action for seven days to protect not only their jobs, but to save a beloved institution in Australian media that matters to us all. We encourage all ANMF members not to buy, click or share Fairfax news during this strike. Independent, fearless and quality journalism has been an essential part of nurses’ and midwives’ campaigns to protect and improve patient care over the past three decades. ANMF is dismayed by Fairfax management’s announcement yesterday to cut 125 full-time positions or 25 per cent of its journalist and editorial jobs. ANMF (Vic Branch) understands journalism and the media industry is navigating a major period of transition and once successful publishing business models are no longer relevant. We urge Fairfax management to resist the urge to make savings by cutting jobs and instead be leaders in journalism and publishing in a digital world and revive the company’s reputation for quality reporting. Fairfax and the community will both lose if management cuts its already skeleton editorial staff and relies heavily on syndicated stories and casuals, who are receiving unfair capped payments. The community will be poorer for the loss of in-depth subject knowledge and reporting on the stories that matter to Australians, including those that matter to us – nursing, midwifery, aged care, workplace relations and social justice. ANMF members are encouraged to participate in the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance email campaign calling on Fairfax Media chief executive officer Greg Hywood to stop the cuts and grow a sustainable digital media business that invests in good journalism.”

The Confederation of State Theatre Companies (CAST): “The Confederation of State Theatre Companies (CAST) calls on Fairfax Media to review its decision to dramatically reduce the arts coverage and loss of experienced arts editorial staff across mastheads The Age and Sydney Morning Herald. CAST – Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir, Bell Shakespeare, Black Swan State Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, Circus Oz, State Theatre Company of South Australia and Queensland Theatre – have collective annual audiences of over 1 million and employ over 2000 actors and creatives. Fairfax Media over many decades has been an outstanding supporter of the arts in Australia. Independent reviews, analysis and debate has been a hallmark of its arts and culture sections, and its papers.  As the journals of record for their respective cities, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald have chronicled the evolution of Australian culture for present day readers, but also for researchers and historians of the future. Arts, culture and creative thinking is core to a smart and civilised society. With the continuing erosion of independent critical analysis, specialist coverage and reviews, we believe that Australian public life will be all the poorer. Arts organisations have supported Fairfax as customers of its print and digital titles for decades, and we ask that Fairfax maintains its commitment to comprehensive, specialised, meaningful and entertaining arts and cultural coverage. This statement is co-signed by the Confederation of Australian State Theatre Companies and the executive management of each organisation.”

Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy: “Thoughts with all Fairfax staff and families. Democracy needs a strong media – Fairfax, please no cuts at @theage #fairgofairfax”

Federal Greens Leader Senator Richard Di Natale‏: “Our thoughts are with all those at Fairfax today. We need a fiercely free and independent media to hold power to account.”

NSW Senator Sam Dastyari‏: “The last thing we need is one company being the only voice in print media. What a disaster. #fairgofairfax”

NSW Federal Labor MP Linda Burney: “Cuts to journalism are devastating for those who will lose their jobs but also a disaster for our democracy. Sad day. #fairgofairfax”

QLD Federal Labor MP Terri Butler: “Thinking of everyone facing redundancies at Fairfax right now. Our democracy needs journalists #PressFreedom2017 @withMEAA”

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas: “Democracy doesn’t function without an independent and a robust press, and The Age has done an outstanding job over a very long period of time. My sympathies are with all those people confronting where their future lies. It’s obviously going to be a very difficult time. And really, the fact that I from time to time do get irritated by journalists is a sign that journalism works. It’s a sign that in many ways we have to fight to preserve the need for an independent and a critical journalistic industry. The integrity of journalism I think is important and the fact that they irritate politicians and ask us questions we don’t like and report on wonderful achievements that you don’t see as quite so wonderful I think is a demonstration that you’re doing your job.”

Victorian Small Business, Innovation and Trade Minister Philip Dalidakis: “As an MP, I have a vexed relationship w/ journos but what Fairfax announced today WILL negatively impact on our democracy #fairgofairfax”

Federal Greens MP Adam Bandt‏: “Shocked to hear reports cuts at Fairfax mean 1 in 4 journos to go. Devastating decision. Thoughts with staff now facing huge uncertainty.”

Father Bob: “Person the barricades!”

ABC broadcaster Patricia Karvelas‏: “This is a sad day for journalism in Australia. Print journalists are crucial to the ongoing functioning of our democracy #auspol #fairfax”

Law firm Maurice Blackburn: “We stand in solidarity with Fairfax workers #fairgofairfax”

NSW Federal Labor MP Anthony Albanese: “The proposed job cuts at Fairfax hurt those directly affected, but also have an adverse impact on our society #FairGoFairfax”

Melbourne Press Club president Michael Rowland: “We lament the heavy job losses announced by Fairfax Media and our thoughts are with every reporter, sub-editor and photographer now confronting an uncertain future. Never has there been a time when quality journalism is more needed. The thinning out of newsrooms at media organisations across Victoria and around Australia makes it much harder to hold governments and other public institutions to account.”

VCOSS CEO Emma King: “A strong society needs strong journalism. Journalists seek truth. They hold governments and powerful people to account and give voice to the voiceless; often telling the stories of Victoria’s most vulnerable and disadvantages. Fewer journalists means many important stories will never be heard. VCOSS values the journalists who work every day to make our community stronger and fairer. #FairGoFairfax”

Open letter to CEO Greg Hywood from former Fairfax arts editors (read the full letter here):We are former arts editors of Fairfax who are appalled at plans to cut coverage of the arts and axe the jobs of its specialist journalists. Arts journalism requires deep and detailed knowledge of our culture. For generations, Fairfax has fostered this and has been a leader in its coverage of our cultural debates and artistic endeavours. Arts coverage is not the cherry on the cake to be dispensed with when the economic going gets tough but essential to a vibrant, healthy, civilized society . . . Cultures are valued by the art they produce, and remembered by the art they leave behind. Let not Fairfax be remembered as the news organisation that killed our culture.”

You can find international statements of support for Fairfax journalists here.

News Corp Australia: “The News Corp house committee stands in solidarity with colleagues at Fairfax Media. The cuts proposed by Fairfax management are disgraceful. If carried out would damage the interests of the Australian public by dramatically reducing the number of journalists scrutinising matters of importance in the life of the country.”

Guardian and Observer UK: “The Guardian and Observer chapel of the NUJ are appalled to learn that Fairfax Media in Australia proposes to axe 125  journalist jobs  – around one in four of every Fairfax metropolitan newspaper in Australia. We believe such cuts would have a devastating impact on the quality of titles and put their future in jeopardy. A strong and free press is a cornerstone of democracy and in these uncertain times, investment in quality, independent journalism is crucial. The Guardian and Observer chapel of the NUJ offers your members our solidarity and strong support and wishes you well in your action.”

The Weekly Review: “MEAA members at The Weekly Review stand in support of the actions taken by our Fairfax Media colleagues in reaction to the company’s plans to cut 125 jobs from The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Financial Review. These cuts will further erode trust in these venerable mastheads, as well as their ability to produce quality journalism. In the same way, there is no trust that these cuts are in the best interests of journalism, journalists, or the Australian public. We would also like to once again thank our comrades at The Age for the support they showed us during staff cuts at The Weekly Review last year. Solidarity with each other is vital during these trying times. #FairGoFairfax”

The Newcastle Herald: “The Newcastle Herald house committee stands in solidarity with our colleagues in Sydney and Melbourne. Having borne the brunt of Fairfax management’s savage cost cutting regime, the Herald‘s editorial staff know too well the devastating impact these cuts will have on the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the Australian Financial Review. These publications enjoy the support of their readership because of their reputation for quality, independent journalism. Like all Fairfax titles, it is their market edge. It is time for the company’s well-compensated management to realise they will not cut their way to profitability. We call on them to earn their salaries by coming up with ideas that don’t involve decimating Fairfax’s core asset.”

Fairfax Tasmania: ““Fairfax Tasmania editorial  staff stand with our colleagues in the newsrooms of The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, Financial Review, Brisbane Times and WA Today as they face misguided job cuts. Fairfax’s world-class journalism is more important than ever. Cutting editorial jobs will only weaken our newsrooms’ ability to inform and entertain readers, and to hold power to account. We urge management to avoid cutting jobs and find alternative savings. Fair go, Fairfax.”

Private Media: “Editorial staff at Private Media, which publishes Crikey, SmartCompany, Startup Smart and The Mandarin, support the industrial action taken by our Fairfax Media colleagues in reaction to the company’s plans to cut 125 staff from The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review newsrooms. Fairfax’s journalism is essential for our democracy and strengthens Australia’s media landscape. We feel that the planned moves by Fairfax management will harm our media and our country. We call on Fairfax management to consider staff proposals to find savings in other ways, and to negotiate in good faith without threats. We stand with our Fairfax colleagues and call on our readers and contributors to do all they can to support those brave journalists who are risking their jobs to stand up for what is right.”

Guardian Australia: “Guardian Australia’s MEAA members support the actions of our Fairfax Media colleagues fighting to preserve the capacity of the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age and the Australian Financial Review to produce quality journalism. Trustworthy reporting from a variety of media voices is more important than ever and plays a vital role in our democratic society. The deep newsroom cuts the company plans will endanger Fairfax journalists’ ability to deliver quality journalism from trusted mastheads and we support their campaign urging management to find another way to achieve its financial goals.”

The Canberra Times: “The Canberra Times staff stand with our colleagues in the newsrooms of The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, Financial Review, Brisbane Times and WA Today as they face misguided job cuts. Fairfax’s world-class journalism is more important than ever. Cutting editorial jobs will only weaken our newsrooms’ ability to inform and entertain readers, and to hold power to account. Canberra Times journalists will not complete work that is usually performed by journalists at other mastheads during any industrial action. We urge management to avoid cutting jobs and find alternative savings. We have voted to work to rule on May 4 and will consider further action in future. Fair go, Fairfax.”

The Illawarra Mercury:Illawarra Mercury staff stand in solidarity with our colleagues in the newsrooms of the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the Financial Review, Brisbane Times and WA Today as they face yet another round of ill-thought out job cuts. As a newsroom which has faced many rounds of similar levels of job cuts in recent years, we strongly condemn a strategy that continues to remove the very people who produce Fairfax’s product: quality journalism. This is no way to ensure the company’s future. Removing journalists from our important flagship sites will hurt our readership and communities across the nation. The nation relies on these people to tell important stories, hold power to account and deliver independent journalism. Without journalists there will be no Fairfax. We applaud our affected colleagues’ decision to strike for seven days in opposition to these cuts. Mercury journalists strongly object to our work being used by metropolitan mastheads to circumvent strike action. We will not complete work that is usually performed by journalists at other mastheads during this time, and will consider further action. We urge management to avoid cutting jobs and find other ways of saving. It should not be newsrooms – the very heart of the company – that bear the brunt of the company’s continuing financial struggles presided over by Fairfax management. Fair go, Fairfax.”

The Financial Times UK: “The NUJ chapel committee at the Financial Times offers support and solidarity to striking journalists at Fairfax Media – including the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age in Melbourne and the Australian Fnancial Review – following today’s wildcat industrial action and seven-day strike against the imposition of savage job cuts across the titles. Members of the MEAA media workers union are right to stand up against job cuts of 25 per cent that threaten not just the livelihoods of those targeted, but the quality of Fairfax journalism and even the future of the publications themselves. We send greetings and solidarity from the FT journalists’ union and hope that your action during federal budget week proves beyond doubt the importance of quality journalism in Australian life and brings success against a management that believes slashing journalists’ jobs is a viable model for growth.”

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