When Fairfax and NZME were trying to convince the Commerce Commission to give them their monopoly, Fairfax astounded the Commission by simply threatening to gut NZ journalism if they didn’t give this foreign owned monster what it wanted…
Fairfax New Zealand and NZME have warned it may be now or never for their proposed merger, and refusal will mean “aggressive” cuts to journalism.
The companies said they had nearly exhausted opportunities to cut costs in administration. If the merger was rejected they were likely to “aggressively consider cuts to frontline news functions such as reporting”.
Cuts would be felt deepest in “regional and local coverage and minority issues”, they said.
…well the Commerce Commission refused to give these media monoliths their monopoly and Fairfax have made good on their threat by announcing they are slashing community papers…
Stuff to slash community reporting jobs after merger plan fails
Newspaper publisher Stuff is considering axing 19 jobs as it squeezes its community titles.Staff were today told of the proposal, which affects 13 of its Auckland and Northland titles.
Stuff has confirmed 16 reporter and three news director jobs could be made redundant.
Staff were told three senior reporter roles could be introduced to cover west Auckland, the North Shore, south and east Auckland, with an additional senior reporter based in Whangarei.
Should the proposal go ahead, it’s understood the staff would made redundant just before Christmas.
…which is funny because Stuff made a similar threat in February…
Fairfax’s NZ arm has announced it will close or sell 28 mastheads.
Stuff today briefed staff on plans to reduce its portfolio of smaller community and rural titles.
About 60 staff could be affected.
A statement says the company is working through the detailed plans for each individual title. Further briefings with staff and communities will be held over the coming weeks.
…so the good news is they went from 28 papers closing to just 5 and 60 staff to only 7.
It’s like Stuff keep threatening to gut journalism while yelling ‘what a shame that will be for democracy’ and democracy is too busy sharing a white supremacist explanation for why 9/11 was an inside job that includes aliens and fluoridation in water on Facebook and just mumbles over its shoulder, ‘well off you go then’.
The Government Broadcasting policy doesn’t know if it’s alive or dead and the only stab at trying to get something close to resembling public broadcasting has been the joint RNZ-NZ on Air fund. There is a push by the corporates to make the Government fund ‘quality journalism’ (elites) which is something we already see a lot of. That sudden ‘focus on a social issue’ you see pop up in many mainstream media websites is content paid for by NZ on Air or funded by a Government agency. Stuff sound like they keep threatening closures in the hope this will generate some publicly funded program they can outsource their journalism obligations to.
While mainstream media consistently complain about Facebook and Google stealing advertising dollars, the truth is that media and journalism in NZ is profitable…
Fairfax’s New Zealand media revenue fell 4.5 percent to $160 million in the six months ended Dec. 31, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation sank 24 percent to $20.7 million. Of that, print advertising sales dropped 15 percent to $77.2 million, while print subscriptions slipped 4.3 percent to $48.8 million. Digital revenue jumped 33 percent to $24.2 million.
… the reason it’s not profitable to the media companies is because they are owned by vulture funds with enormous debt to pay. It’s the debt needs of their own companies that see profit margins shrink, while journalism does need a better funding model (a digital tax on Facebook or Google for example could fund journalism), ignoring the financial DNA of the companies and what the pressures of financialization is doing to the media business model is essential in understanding why they are ‘failing’.
The Government should consider that before they start shelling out money to them.