Journalism

Aug. 30th, 2008 10:58 pm
metavore: (Default)
[personal profile] metavore
I haven't seen anything drifting about my friends list about this, so I thought I'd take the opportunity. Obviously, there's at least one major media outlet which hasn't said anything about this.

550 job cuts were announced on Tuesday at The Age, including a large number of high-profile journalists. The first to go was editor Andrew Jaspan. On Thursday afternoon, the rest of the staff staged a revolt and picket lines went up. Strike breakers and non-union staff were at the ready.

Fairfax has been pushing the paper to do more advertorial content. By all accounts Jaspan, as an editor, is somewhat unable to find his way out of a paper bag with both hands and a mixed metaphor, but he nevertheless refused. Now he finds himself and a large chunk of his staff in the Centrelink queue.

While this might seem at first to be an issue of strikes and unions and pickets, at its heart it's a question of news. Is it your right to have good news? News that is relatively unbiased, acceptably impartial and approximately objective? Fairfax is a company, whose aim is to make money; news doesn't necessarily make money. Ads make money.

The bottom line is this: If you normally read The Age - online or in paper format - this might be a good weekend to give it a miss. Conspicuously buy something else. Head to the ABC instead. Nothing hurts a company like a good crack to the wallet. Melbournians are known for their fierce defense of their public amenities, and I know I personally can't bear to let The Age go down without a fight.

Date: 2008-08-31 02:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hermia8.livejournal.com
we get a subscription so there's no getting away from it easily. but what really disturbed me was that all the bits of the paper that are normally there were there. the strike really didn't affect the paper in the way i expected. there were more articles without names credited, but apart from that i couldn't really tell that so many had been on strike. i know a lot of the supplements basically come from sydney, but still.

and from what i can tell jaspan had at least lifted the number of readers at the age and was quite popular. don't know much about him but i didn't think he was that bad.
i feel for him. they flew him out from the UK especially and he'd only been here for two years or something, hope he has a place to go back to if he decides to go back.

and the age had a massive write up about all this on page 2 on thursday. i'll cut it out for you if you're interested and haven't seen it?

Date: 2008-08-31 11:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mordwen.livejournal.com
Jaspan was not popular. 259 journos held a vote of no confidence for him a few months ago on grounds of ethical objection to puff pieces he asked them to do on earth hour based on emails the earth hour pr people had sent him.

The whole situation is awful.

The weekend supplements would have been mostly unaffected because they'd have been printed on Thursday before the major walkout. The main paper was put together mostly from wire stories. It's what happens next week if this keeps going that will be interesting.

Mike Carlton was sacked for refusing to file his copy for this weekend...

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