Media release: 18 June 2012
The Greens will be moving in the NSW parliament this week to condemn the changes at Fairfax that threaten the quality and independence of news reporting and current affairs in this state.
Greens NSW MP John Kaye said: "The loss of 180 editorial staff positions and the move towards a single national newsroom will dramatically reduce the amount of quality news and commentary available in newsprint in NSW.
"The changes pose a direct threat to media diversity.
"Combined with the pressure from mining magnate and share purchaser Gina Rinehart, the restructure and job cuts risk turning Fairfax into a pale imitation of News Ltd.
"The loss of 1,900 jobs might make Fairfax more profitable but many of these positions were central to the maintenance of the papers' quality.
"The restructure points towards the inevitable creation of a single editorial model for the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald and a lower standard of scrutiny of state politics.
"Fairfax has played a key role in exposing the aberrant behaviours of many NSW politicians.
"A move towards a national framework for the Age and the SMH, specialised for each state, will not sustain intensive levels of investigation and analysis.
"While Fairfax journalists will continue to maintain the standards of their profession, the pressure of staff cuts will take its toll on the quality of the media outlets.
"The Greens will be moving in the NSW parliament to condemn the job cuts and the loss of state focus in Fairfax.
"We will also be calling on Premier Barry O'Farrell to work with other national leaders to develop a sustainable model of media support that ensures that Fairfax and News Ltd do not have to slash jobs or sacrifice local focus to remain viable.
"Fairfax management's crisis response to declining profitability is a body blow to diversity and robustness. Media quality and diversity sits at the heart of a healthy democracy," Dr Kaye said.
For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455