Media Release – Fairfax job cuts will hit Newcastle readers and businesses, say Greens

Job cuts to Fairfax titles in Newcastle would compromise the quality and viability of key Newcastle newspapers, and strike another blow to Newcastle’s ailing CBD, Newcastle Greens said today.

“Fairfax is Newcastle’s major local newspaper provider (including our only regional daily newspaper, the Newcastle Herald), and local Fairfax workers already struggle against the odds to produce profitable local news services,” The Greens Lord Mayoral candidate for Newcastle, John Sutton, said.

“Cutting 41 jobs from an already lean staffing profile will clearly affect this, whatever Fairfax management might claim.

“Cuts like this tear at the fabric of a regional community like Newcastle, which needs locally produced newspapers that cater for local readers who want local information about what is happening in their local area.

“Fairfax’s outsourcing of editorial support functions for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne Age to New Zealand last year is now widely regarded as a failure.

“Why is Fairfax management subjecting their currently profitable Newcastle operation to something that has failed elsewhere?”

Mr Sutton said he understood that most of the job cuts would be from Newcastle Newspapers’ CBD office, which would sap the CBD of more jobs.

“This decision will hit local small businesses in Newcastle East, already bracing themselves for the impact of the state government’s decision to move court facilities to a new justice precinct in the Civic area.

“It’s a loss for local readers who need quality local information, and for local businesses who currently service the local workers who won’t be showing up in the area anymore,” Mr Sutton said.

For further information or comment on this release, contact John Sutton (Greens candidate for Newcastle Lord Mayor and Ward 4) on 0411 154 004.

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