Aussie newspapers to outsource sub-editing, in survival measure

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 03 May 2011

MELBOURNE: Australia's Fairfax Media has announced it will outsource the sub-editing of its major newspapers.

Under the move, announced Tuesday, the company's major metropolitan papers, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Sun-Herald, The Age and The Sunday Age will not be subbed in-house.

Subediting duties will be handed over to Pagemasters, a subsidiary of Australian Associated Press (AAP).

Fairfax Media chief executive Greg Hywood Hywood has acknowledged there would be cost cuts, but that it was necessary for the company to move forward.

"Yes, there will be cost reductions but the strategic driver for those savings is reinvestment in the parts of Fairfax that will determine the future success of the company," Hywood said in a staff announcement.

"While the changes I am announcing today carry some pain, they represent a necessary step forward in creating a sustainable and successful Fairfax," he said.

Hywood said the move would mean that Fairfax would be looking for new reporters, expanding its trainee programme and investing in multimedia training and equipment.

"As you will be aware, Pagemasters has been successfully producing many of the sections for our metro mastheads for the past three years," he said.

Following Hywood's announcement, Jack Matthews, CEO of Metropolitan Media, issued a staff message explaining how the move ensured the company's survival.

"The Metro publications are at a critical point in their history," he said in a statement.

"We are all aware of the fundamental changes sweeping the media industry.

"The urgency required was reinforced to me during a recent trip to meet publishers and editors in the US and UK.

"A common theme emerged. These media organisations were too late in recognising the fundamental changes to their businesses.

"Now, in fact, it may be too late for some of them to survive," he said.

The editorial staff were invited to briefing sessions in Sydney and Melbourne Tuesday. - Bernama

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