Offshoring Australian editing jobs to New Zealand

June 12 2012 - With an 18% drop in earnings forecast by Fairfax Media, the publishing group has confirmed that cost-cutting includes moving jobs from Australia to New Zealand.

66 sub-editing jobs on regional Australian newspapers have been targeted for the move. Paul Murphy acting federal secretary of Australian journalists' union, the Media Alliance, said:

"Our sub-hub proposal would enable skilled subeditors to remain embedded within the community while delivering Fairfax the very cost savings it seeks by offshoring." Their proposal to cut a third of existing jobs in order to preserve the rest in Australia "would have reduced the number of journalists previously seen as necessary in stand-alone newsroom structures from about 60 staff to 40.

"Given the local knowledge and expertise of existing staff, it would be possible to operate in Newcastle and Wollongong with fewer staff numbers than the company’s flawed New Zealand scheme," said Murphy, referring to plans to outsource sub-editing on papers including the Newcastle Herald and the Illawarra Mercury.

Fairfax had considered these proposals as employees on bigger Australian newspapers, including the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age staged wildcat industrial action, but announced their intention to continue with outsourcing.

Paul Murphy reacted with the comment that:

"The readers of the Newcastle Herald and the Illawarra Mercury have made it clear that they want their local papers produced locally. Fairfax Media has ignored its customers."