Fairfax restructures

July 2nd, 2008 at 9:49 am by David Farrar

is making up to 40 staff redundant as it restructures. Insiders tell me there are 190 – 200 subs nation-wide so that is a large number of redundancies.

I am told by said insiders that the announcement was brought forward by two days when someone accidentally posted details of it on the Fairfax Intranet. And it seems the way it was communicated has been sub-optimal.

But despite that, it does seem to be a quite different kettle of fish to what APN have done, which is outsource almost all sub-editing to Pagemakers – a very controversial move.

From what I can tell Fairfax is saying that subs will remain with each paper for local and sports news, but that centralised hubs in Christchurch and Wellington would sub-edit financial and world news plus features across all Fairfax papers.

Putting aside the obvious commercial imperative, and the impact it has on current staff (restructuring is never pleasant) I am not sure it isn’t a bad idea. Financial and world news doesn’t tend to be local and building up centres of excellence in those specialised areas makes some sense to me, while keeping local subs for local news.

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11 Responses to “Fairfax restructures”

  1. poneke (280 comments) says:

    Insiders tell me there are 190 – 200 subs nation-wide so that is a large number of redundancies. I am told by said insiders that the announcement was brought forward by two days when someone accidentally posted details of it on the Fairfax Intranet.

    What do you mean insiders? This was all over Morning Report yesterday, with Geoff Robinson even interviewing Paul Thompson at length. Yesterday Dominion Post even had a report, on page two.

    There’s nothing secret about it and your insiders have told you nothing more than was on the radio including the Intranet stuff up which Thompson admitted was the reason for bringing it forward.

    [DPF: I was on planes yesterday morning and did not hear the radio for obvious reasons. A Fairfax staffer e-mailed me the info, which was my source for it. I was unaware it was public domain, but not surprised in hindsight]

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  2. aardvark (417 comments) says:

    As if the calibre of our mainstream news-reporting wasn’t bad enough, now they’re going to make it even worse.

    It seems they don’t even hire proof-readers any more and some of the gaffes I see turning up on Stuff and NZHerald are unbelievable.

    Then there’s the utter lack of any investigation into some of the stories they run. Like the piece that ran on Stuff about two yokels up north who built a car that ran partly on water and produced amazing fuel savings — yeah right! They didn’t question a single claim, didn’t even use Google to get some insight into whether this might just be a couple of people deluding themselves or trying to scam others.

    It seems that the mainstream media is getting *very* lazy these days and slashing staff isn’t a way to improve the situation.

    Has anyone else noticed (for instance) that Campbell Live started off with great promise and looked as if it was going to be a cutting current-affairs programme which wasn’t afraid to tackle the hard issues and get to the bottom of important stories? But look at it now… just more tabloid TV. No investigation, no gritty stories, just cheap, simple “fluff”

    On the bright side, I suspect these changes will drive more people to the non-mainstream news sources of the internet so sites like this and my own will get far more traffic because we *are* prepared to ask the tough question and dig for the facts.

    Take my recent crusade to expose these “run your car on water” scams for instance.

    The best Campbell Live and Stuff could do is effectively give these scammers some free publicity without even questioning the claims of huge fuel savings being got from a jamjar filled with baking soda hooked up to your engine.

    If you go to my blog and click on the “don’t be scammed” graphic (right-hand column) you’ll see what the mainstream media ought to be telling you about these multi-million dollar frauds. But if that’s too hard for them now, imagine how hard it will be when they’re left with just a tea-lady and janitor to research and write their stories :-)

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  3. bearhunter (853 comments) says:

    Phew, Aardvark, thank God you’re here to save us. I’m sorry did that sound sarcastic…?

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  4. poneke (280 comments) says:

    It seems they don’t even hire proof-readers any more and some of the gaffes I see turning up on Stuff and NZHerald are unbelievable.

    Proof readers were made redundant from 1987 on as newspapers switched to direct editorial input of stories, also making redundant the typesetters who used to retype the copy reporters produced.

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  5. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Cry me a river. The dinosaur media pays the price for the its failure to provide balance. Meanwhile FOX news (fair and balanced) thrives. Roger Ailes is a business man who was smart enough to detect a gap in the market, while the arrogant liberal/ left mainstream media led by the New York Times (another outfit riding for a long overdue fall) persisted in pushing unwelcome political views on their audience. The newspapers pay the price for being politically intransigent when, if they were as commercially aware as they should have been, they would have reacted to the shifting political moods abroad in the population. Good riddance. Maybe the blinkered left wing dupes who run journalism courses in most universities these days should lose their jobs too.

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  6. Razork (375 comments) says:

    DPF “And it seems the way it was communicated has been sub-optimal.”

    What the hell is sub-optimal?

    Oh, you mean its bad?

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  7. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    Hey, Fairfax could just let all the surplus numbers of subs employed by the Labour Government write copy directly onto Fairfax’s own programs, that would be a step forward in efficiency and no real change in content………

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  8. peterwn (3,311 comments) says:

    At least they have not relocated financial editing to Sydney – the Dom Post prints alot of Sydney Morning Herald business news as it is.

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  9. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    Well IMHO the MSM are becoming more irrelevant each day and I guess this is the proof the numbers getting their news from MSM are dropping and will continue to fall

    Who needs a bunch of paid liars when you can source a range of opinions and make up your own mind rather than being force fed crapola.

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  10. s.russell (1,646 comments) says:

    As one of the people directly affected by this I can tell you that David’s description of the situation is accurate. Unlike the APN outsourcing (which I was also affected by) subs will remain with each paper for local and sports news, but centralised hubs in Christchurch and Wellington will sub-edit financial and world news plus features across all Fairfax papers.

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