REDS ARE BURNING: Ramadge reveals new round of redundancies to shocked and awed Age newsroom

Editor-in-chief Paul Ramadge told distressed Age staff yesterday that at least eight of their number were to hit the fence in a new round of redundancies.

The staff briefing was a curious affair – snouts report – as Ramadge invited those assembled to propose their own ideas where these redundancies should come from, engendering a potential Lord of the Flies meets Survivor experience for the lucky scribes.

Certainly the mood in the new flash Media House digs appears to be very gloomy indeed.

The Age’s iPad app is launching this week and has attracted internal criticism for being little more than a pdf version of the paper with nothing innovative at all other than an absence of newsprint.

The staff briefing was puzzled by Ramadge’s assertion that Monday to Friday is travelling well but that Saturday-Sunday are holding their own.

This is not a majority view in the newsroom nor one that is commonly held among industry observers who see Saturday and Sunday as perfectly representing the disaster that is The Age.

Saturday was once The Age’s only profitable day and now it slides into disaster area, in full public view, as it gets thinner and thinner by the week.

Sunday is the back-water, never profitable, only impactful back in the days when dinosaurs and Jeff Kennett roamed the Earth.

These days, the best the Sunday Age can manage is people like self-confessed environmental campaigner Melissa Fyfe refrying week(s)-old stories usually from the daily’s Paul Austin. Reading the writing on the (glass) wall, Fyfe is understood to have been in active discussions with federal Greens party MPs about her future.

UPDATE: At Wednesday’s Mid-Winter Ball in Canberra, The Age’s Ari Sharp showed that he is ready for any challenge as the newspaper enters its leanest era in living memory. He is accompanied by a Greens party operative Ebony Bennett, who sat with comrades from the nation’s most left-wing daily metropolitan newspaper.

THURSDAY UPDATE: The Australian has picked up our yarn here. And while unacknowledged, there is talk with News Ltd of a new approach to attribution which will mandate journalists within the company correctly attributing stories first seen at “various websites” like VEXNEWS. Of course, it’s been journalists within that company who’ve generally had the most ethical approach on this issue so they are continuing to set the highest standards within the industry.

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “REDS ARE BURNING: Ramadge reveals new round of redundancies to shocked and awed Age newsroom

  1. Billy Bobb Gorton

    I am not surprised by all of this. The Age is a dispicable rag. Its journos have a specific dislike towards ALP Moderate Patriots in the West. They represent the interests of the latte sipping set, and beyond 10 or 15 postcodes their views are seen as irrelevant. The sales figures detailed in this column confirm this fact.

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  3. How fondly I do recall the Melbourne Observer of my distant youth. A truly cosmopolitan Sunday paper, with topless chicks every three or four pages.
    Why doesn’t the Age try that? Ooerr, they might get Catherine Deveny back to drop her gear… forget it.

  4. helvetica typeface

    Fiona, it is a great post thanks for writing it!

  5. Ben

    And I thought the Age loved workers and workers’ rights.

  6. Sorry Mr Landeryou, my previous comment appears to have sucked the air right out of the room for this post…

  7. C T Amite

    At least one of the three nmembers of the non-productive Investigations Unit is for the axe. Widely thought that McKenzie is on his bicycle.

  8. Anon

    Melissa would be better placed working for the Greens. Her articles are so clearly partisan that they damage the Age’s brand. Recently she co-wrote a front page story that would have failed an RMIT third year news feature assignment. Much of the story hung on the allegation of a source in the first paragraph. Many paragraphs later, the reader discovered the source was the relevant Opposition Spokesperson. Her article was a glorified media release for the Opposition. Disgraceful.

  9. Rampant

    Ummm … where are Ari’s hands?

    I can see him leaning down to his left a little….

  10. Darla Jane

    Ari’s hands are holding the water buffalo he is snacking on between courses.

  11. politicalrealist

    Lets be fair dinkum, a big city like Melbourne needs the Age. It has gone down hill terribly in recent years, but it is still a second voice, a second view point in a big city dominated by the crappy tabloid the Herald Sun. The Age certainly needs some intensive care, but hopefully it isn’t terminal.
    Best paper by far : The Australian!

  12. Fartfax

    I want a couple of those soccerooss car flags that the age is giving away to attach to my solar powered bicycle.

  13. Anonymous

    Don’rt dare malign the Herald Sun. Simon Pristel, Phil Gardner and Peter Blunden are the most respected trio of newspapermen in the country. If The Age wanted to save itself, it would do well to poach them away.

    Yes, it would cost a lot, but quality always has a steep price.

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