AGE STAFF REVOLTING: Outsource outrage at protest rally

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The Age staff and followers have rarely made more sense. Fairfax’s Sydney-based well-paid management decision to sack all their sub or copy editors and outsource it to a leaky Pagemasters operation increasingly appears to be a grave error of judgment.

Their noisy rally today – appropriately accompanied by the grilling of dead meat in the form of gourmet sausages – made it clear the Age’s staff and followers are revolting.

Whether it was comrade Jenny Bannister wearing a $3 apron from the $2 shop, representing the hard-grafting type-setters of old, the lovely Father Bob (wearing a very cool badge ‘who cares wins’, the multi-millionaire broadcast grouch Neil Mitchell, Marlon Brando impersonator and union rabble-rouser Michael Bachelard, Greens leader (annointed by VEXNEWS years ago before being confirmed in the role by reluctant colleagues) Greg Barber, or the Monash moon-lighting Leonie Wood who is thought too unwilling to work to be technically able to strike, it was a veritable rainbow of Age love who came out to protest the slow salami-slicing of Melbourne’s oldest, most left-wing and savagely anti-Israel metropolitan daily newspaper.

As wrong as they may all be about everything, they’re not wrong about outsourcing the vital work of those who determine the finished product of the newspaper. It’s crazy.

It make more sense, the ABC’s resident self-promoting entrepreneur Alan Kohler is believed to be saying around town, to keep the sub-editors in-house and push the reporters to an outsource model.

Now, that would be a laugh. And won’t happen but it does tell you how vital these folks work is regarded by those who know the media well.

The end-point of all this is clear enough. If you can outsource copy-editing etc to another company then you can outsource it to another country.

Pagemasters – VEXNEWS can reveal – is actively considering offshoring some of the operations to developing countries and, no, we don’t mean New Zealand. Markets being actively considered by the AAP-owned offshoot include India and the Philippines where a well-paid journalist might be paid $5000 a year (with no Cabcharge!)

As we have written many times before, The Age faces an existential crisis. Pretending it can be a quality newspaper while massively down-grading expenditure on quality control is undoubtedly going to hasten their demise.

Pictures from behind enemy lines to follow once they have been approved by military censors…

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “AGE STAFF REVOLTING: Outsource outrage at protest rally

  1. Roberta Williams

    I was strolling past and was drawn to the gangland funeral black fashions worn by the Socialististas. The black sunnies would look good on me. Dashing off to buy a new pair. Never know when a funeral will pop up. Wouldn’t mind Jenny Bannister’s apron for a theme night. Carl used to love those.

  2. Adrian Jackson

    I understand The Age sub editoring outsourcing is to a Brisbane company partly owned by News Limited.

  3. Nostradamus

    I rather suspect that The Age will long outlast Vexnews.

  4. The Truth

    If editors receive crap then the paper will still print crap – outsourced subbies or otherwise. The Age is doomed.

  5. Ben

    Adrian: To my understanding, most of their work is done in Brisbane, but the Fairfax papers’ main sections will still be subedited in their home cities.

    Long-term: They’ll set shop up in impoverished India (my guess) where (I’m told) skinny hands make the best shoes too. I suspect that 50% of The Age’s content is already from the Huffington Post.

  6. Mick

    I rather suspect VEXNEWS is presently more profitable than all of Fairfax.

  7. Claptrap

    (Real) editor in chief Ramadge gave Age critic Kennett a huge well-deserved whack today. He simply ignores the ill-founded criticisms of minor media minnows like vexnews and looney commenters like Mick.

    Ramadge, for ‘Mick’s’ information, said The Age’s circulation and profits were rising unlike the Herald-Sun’s diminishing readership. Vexnew’s fortunes by comparison are miniscule.

  8. @Rampant111

    I think having The Age sub editing outsourced to India is hillarious.

    Imagine the headlines: Goodness gracious me – the Aussies won the Brisbane test….

  9. Mick

    That explains why Fairfax’s shares are doing so well then. Sorry, I must have been reading about the other borderline-insolvent media company.

    Oh, wait… perhaps not.

  10. Adrian Jackson

    Before the sub-editors got sacked I noticed in the Sunday Age on 24 Apr 11 a story on the Korea War battle of Kapyong. The map let the author of this good story down as it showed Kapyong being about 200 miles south of Seoul.

    We all know that the Chinese crossed the Nth Korea border to try to capture Seoul so logic would dictate that Kapyong must be between the border and Seoul (about 35 miles nth/east actually) but the sub-editor did not pick this obvious mistake up before the paper went to print.

    PS: I note Kapyong is not in spell check either

  11. anon

    Hope the paper dies. Spent yeArs bagging brumby for nothing, forgot it’s roll to provide news not opinion. May you all rot with paul austin as the captain of a sinking ship.

  12. small town elitism

    the age has been a tabloid, backwater rag for years. the idea that they actually have quality control at the paper is a joke. they’re dying, moving sub eds to pagemasters is just killing em off faster. quality journalism ends at the nytimes, economist and wash post.

  13. Colonel Killgore

    I think that within 5 years Fairfax will have a national generic newspaper, like The Australian, but with The Age and Sydney Herald masthead for papers distributed in Melbourne and Sydney.

    I notice that some local papers are mostly generic but with the first two or three pages devoted to they circulation areas.

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