New era for digital journalists begins on March 1
Journalists employed by digital publications will be entitled to penalty rates, overtime and other key conditions from tomorrow as landmark changes to the benchmark Journalists Published Media Award come into effect.
The change is the result of a ruling by the Fair Work Commission in 2019, which agreed with the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance to vary the Award to include digital journalists. The Commission agreed with MEAA’s argument that digital media workers should have full access to the award that applies to the published media industry (covering news titles and magazines).
MEAA Media section director Adam Portelli said: “March 1 is a landmark day for all journalists across Australia. The inclusion of journalists working in digital media outlets to the Award means they will be able to have the same conditions as their print colleagues. It removes an anomaly where journalists working in digital media were doing the same job but with less pay and fewer entitlements.
“The media industry and the journalism profession have been thoroughly transformed by digital technology. Up until now, the Award had not kept pace with this transformation into how media outlets operate and the editorial content that their journalists produce,” he said.
“This decision means all journalists – whether they work in print or online – will now have access to the same minimum standards for their wages, penalty rates, overtime, and other conditions of employment such as hours of work and breaks.
“Importantly for these workers, the changes will provide a solid foundation on which to build better conditions for digital journalists through collective bargaining in the future,” Mr Portelli said.