The Age staff and followers have rarely made more sense. Fairfaxâ€™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 â€“ appropriately accompanied by the grilling of dead meat in the form of gourmet sausages â€“ made it clear the Ageâ€™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 â€˜who cares winsâ€™, 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 Melbourneâ€™s oldest, most left-wing and savagely anti-Israel metropolitan daily newspaper.
As wrong as they may all be about everything, theyâ€™re not wrong about outsourcing the vital work of those who determine the finished product of the newspaper. Itâ€™s crazy.
It make more sense, the ABCâ€™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 wonâ€™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 â€“ VEXNEWS can reveal â€“ is actively considering offshoring some of the operations to developing countries and, no, we donâ€™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 censorsâ€¦