Independent media a losing battle

Written By: - Date published: 9:04 am, April 7th, 2017 - 10 comments
Categories: business, journalism, Media, newspapers - Tags: , , ,

Unfolding in Australia, but obviously relevant here, and bad news in every way:

Fairfax journalists condemn ​​proposed $30m job cuts and political positioning

The following extracts are not in the original order:

The newly appointed managing director of Australian Metro Publishing, Chris Janz, has said the editorial budget will take a $30m cut but has not indicated how much of that is staff cuts. It is understood the majority will come from staff losses.

“We call on the company to provide a clear estimate of what proportion of the $30m cuts will come from editorial job losses,” staff said. “Without details around proposed job cuts, this is not a genuine consultation. We call on the company to guarantee select staff will get access to confidential financial information and any other relevant business information to allow us to genuinely participate.”

Media jobs are under attack almost everywhere. Good luck to the Fairfax workforce. The second part of the story is just as bad:

On Wednesday the company stunned journalists at the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald when it outlined a new political strategy in a five-page document about an editorial restructure.

“Our pro-investor, pro-consumer view of business is central to our influence in the economic and business community,” the company said in Metro Journalism – The way ahead. We believe in the merits of market-based solutions to economic challenges and an Australia that rewards aspiration and hard work. We want to be at the political centre of the rigorous debate over how best to achieve these important objectives.”

Sources said the chief executive, Greg Hywood, and his management team were afraid the Herald’s reputation for being leftwing was hurting the advertising department.

Google and Facebook are hurting your advertising department, you have no idea what to do, you’re clutching at straws that will not save you, but whatever. Staff responded:

“We reject any ideological direction,” a stop-work resolution on Thursday said. “We report the facts fairly and accurately without fear or favour. We call out the company’s pernicious ideological interference and the fact that coercion was buried in their mission statement.”

Good on you Farifax staff, fighting this rearguard action for independent media. You know it’s a battle worth fighting, even though it’s a losing battle of course. Money talks, always has, always will. Unfortunate that it has nothing wise to say.

10 comments on “Independent media a losing battle”

  1. Johan 1

    The buying/investing in MSM by the wealthy and influential, whether it be a popular radio, television or newspaper is a win/win outcome for corporations and the wealthy. This continual outpouring of neo-liberalism propaganda from right wing political governments is an absolute disgrace.

  2. greywarshark 2

    I guess this is just an upfront declaration of what we know has been the attitude for a long time. All the more reason for those who reason here and want to act and think reasonably to back Scoop.

    Also the new one, founded by Bernard Hickey which has been gestating for a while. Get behind it and support them as they seek to provide investigative journalism and keep us up to date with our society.
    Another link:

    The rest of you commontators giving your opinions so freely can just go back to your whooppee cushions which fart every time you sit on them. Find something that suits you along the lines of small things amuse small minds.

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  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    In a capitalist system there is no such thing as independent media as it’s owned and controlled by those that want the world to be in favour of capitalism despite all the evidence of the last 5000 years that it destroys societies. Because of this desire of those owners they’ll force journalism to report what they want, to try and influence the people in favour of capitalism through that reporting.

    So, instead of getting facts we get lies and misdirection.

    • bwaghorn 3.1

      ”In a capitalist system there is no such thing as independent media ”
      that doesn’t make it any different to communism or dictatorships, it all comes back to the same shit, greedy self serving shits at the top wanting it all.
      if you set up your own personal system tomorrow , no matter how good it is, the scum will rise to the top quickly and taint it. human nature is the enemy.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        Correct, so how do we stop that from happening?

        Obviously, capitalism isn’t it even though we’ve been told over the years and decades that it is.

        • bwaghorn

          the only way is absolute transparency of everything that happens in the corridors of power , every meeting open all moneys traced ,

      • greywarshark 3.1.2

        In sewage settling ponds they keep circulating and oxygenating them and build up a culture that usually prevents nasty smells. So if we can have a change from capitalism for a while there may be room for some oxygen and sunlight before the idealism dissipates and the oh-so-human ambitions and narcissism start to spread whereupon at some point, the whole system changes again.

        That’s one way around it. Of course democracy,and regular elections, is supposed to do this, but when capitalism holds sway over both, then it is revealed as a mere change of chairs against the background scenery when the curtain goes up again.

  4. Keith 4

    The NZ Herald already surrendered to this “market based solution” years ago and fell fully into an uncritical love fest with National. If the Australians want to see what the future holds for them then look no further, brain dead regurgitation from Nationals script writers.

    Still didn’t stop the advertisers deserting their right wing little tabloid, did it?

  5. dukeofurl 5

    Next Fairfax strategy:
    Restaurant owners are critical to our advertising , so in future foodie stories will more align with restaurateurs and farmers interests

    Sport stories will no longer look critically at players and administrators, as the public needs to know their point of view more often.

    The State government is a big advertiser so we will replace political journalist by comment from those who control the levers of government.

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