Friday, December 1st, 2017 #MEAAMedia News
MEAA Online

MEAA met yesterday with editorial staff from HuffPost Australia following Wednesday’s decision by the publisher and Fairfax Media to pull the pin on their two-year-old joint venture.

MEAA has confirmed that the Australian edition of HuffPost has ceased publishing and all but a small handful of commercial and editorial staff have been made redundant.

MEAA members at HuffPost expressed disappointment at the way they had been treated by the company, including a lack of consultation and information about the future of the joint venture, despite repeated requests over the past few weeks.

“Members told us that they were better informed by reports about the publication’s future in other media than they were by their own employer,” said MEAA Media director Katelin McInerney.

“They feel they were shown a lack of respect leading up to Wednesday’s announcement. In contrast to the bullish public statements by both companies, there will be very few opportunities for the staff to be redeployed within Fairfax.”

MEAA has obtained assurances from the employer that although there was not a collective agreement in place for HuffPost Australia, all staff who have been made redundant will receive their full entitlements, including redundancy pay.

Any HuffPost staff experiencing difficulties or requiring assistance should contact MEAA Member Central on 1300 656 513.

What do you want to say?

Here are some suggestions about the kinds of things you might want to include in your submission:
  • What is the media like where you live? How much diversity/concentration of media is there in your area? How important to you is media diversity and having a wide range of voices and opinions? Will the takeover reduce competition/diversity in the Australian media sector?
  • What Fairfax and Nine publications and programs do you consume? What attracted you to them in the first place, and what do they mean to you/your family/household? What will be the impact of the takeover on the choice and range of media you consume?
  • How distinct is Fairfax journalism – what makes it different?  Describe a story or stories published by Fairfax over the years which have made a difference to you/had an impact on you/changed the way you think? What would your life/community be like without the journalism that Fairfax produces?
  • Who are the Fairfax journalists you always read/trust?
  • How important is fearless, independent journalism? What will be the impact of the takeover on investigative journalism and does it increase the risk of that independence being compromised by the commercial interests of the proprietor or its advertisers?
  • What else do you think the ACCC should consider when ruling on this takeover, and what would you like the ACCC to do?