2015-08-27 17:12:28 Releases

The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA), the union and industry advocate for Australia’s journalists, condemns the savage job cuts at the Newcastle Herald and its Hunter Valley operations announced by Fairfax Media today. The cuts will see a total of 46 jobs go across the region – with the Herald newsroom bearing the brunt of the reductions, going from 61 full-time equivalent positions to just 24 under the proposal – a loss of 37 FTE positions.

These latest cuts are part of job losses Fairfax is implementing at the regional businesses that make up its Australian Community Media division, which have already led to massive staff reductions at mastheads in regional Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, the Illawarra and south-east NSW, and at community newspapers in Sydney.

MEAA Media director Katelin McInerney said: “Once again, Fairfax is savaging staff numbers in a short-sighted cost-cutting exercise that will weaken the quality of the journalism that can be produced by the masthead. The severity of these cuts is devastating. Fewer journalists means less local news. It weakens the masthead and means it will be unable to keep the local community informed. Local voices, local issues, local news – these are all lost.

“We call on the company to act smarter. Engage with staff to find sensible ways to reduce costs and work better without undermining the newspaper. Weakening a masthead is a grave disservice to the local community and only goes to make a bad situation worse. The Newcastle and Hunter Valley editorial staff, journalists and photographers and production staff, have years of experience that is a valuable resource that should not be blithely dismissed,” McInerney said.

MEAA insists that Fairfax must offer genuine consultation with staff about how the voluntary redundancy process will be utilised to ensure that only those employees who want to go can go, and that those who remain are not burdened with work intensification due to the loss of people in the newsroom and other crucial resources.

MEAA will be holding meetings with members as soon as possible and intends to meet with Fairfax management shortly.

For more information contact: Katelin McInerney 0423 020 463

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MEAA condemns latest Fairfax cuts

The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA), the union and industry advocate for Australia’s journalists, condemns the savage job cuts at the Newcastle Herald and its Hunter Valley operations announced by Fairfax Media today. The cuts will see a total of 46 jobs go across the region – with the Herald newsroom bearing the brunt of the reductions, going from 61 full-time equivalent positions to just 24 under the proposal – a loss of 37 FTE positions.

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Last update: October 21, 2015