Journalists at Fairfax Media have voted to go on a strike following the company’s decision to cut $30 million.
They will go on strike for seven days from Wednesday 3rd May until the 10th.
But what does this all mean? Here are the facts you need to know.
Last week, Fairfax which publishes The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Australian Financial Review, made the decision to cut $30 million from the company’s budget by cutting 25 percent of its metropolitan staff.
This is estimated to be 125 full-time editorial positions, a quarter of the newsroom.
They would also reduce spending on casual staff, with rates changing from the current fee per word model to a flat fee per article.
In response, staff members at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age are going on strike for seven days.
Newcastle Herald and Brisbane Times staff has also voted to strike in solidarity with them.
This means that Fairfax management will have to put out the news every day for a week without their editorial team. Management may have to do some journalism themselves, but it could also mean they rely more on freelancers.
The biggest impact we will see as readers is Fairfax’s coverage (or lack of coverage) on The Budget which is set to come out Tuesday 9th May.
“We wanted to send a really strong message to management, our readers, subscribers and advertisers that this is what you’re going to be missing. You’re going to be missing our expert, considered and balanced analysis of extremely important political news.” Jenny Noyes, a news editor at Fairfax’s Daily Life in Sydney, told Junkee.
Journalists are hoping that by withholding their labour, they can demonstrate their value to the public.
They hope that instead of the proposed cuts, senior management will take a 25 percent pay cut. They also hope for voluntary redundancy rounds to be open for at least three weeks.
Until then, Fairfax journalists are asking the public not to buy The Age or The Sydney Morning Herald while staff members are on strike to show support.