Save the Illawarra Mercury
To: FAIRFAX MEDIA CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER GREG HYWOOD
WE the undersigned are opposed to plans announced by Fairfax Media to export Illawarra newspaper production jobs to New Zealand. We believe this move, if adopted, will undermine the quality of one of the Illawarra's most important independent news voices. This proposal is unacceptable to our community and we call on Fairfax Media to urgently reconsider.
Why is this important?
The Illawarra Mercury has served the Illawarra region for 157 years. Plans to send subediting and production jobs to New Zealand would mean that our community newspaper is being produced offshore. We believe it is vital that subediting and production staff work alongside journalists in the newsroom. They have specialist skills and local knowledge that is crucial to producing a quality product. We have a close connection to the people of the Illawarra and that relationship will be damaged by this move to send work offshore. Illawarra residents trust our paper because it is written and produced by locals. We want the company to work with us on an alternative proposal that provides efficiencies but retains some staff in the Illawarra. Fairfax Media's plan is purely focused on cost-cutting and shows the company's only idea about how to respond to a changing media landscape is to take to hard-working newsrooms with an axe. The Illawarra needs a strong, independent news voice. Local readers and advertisers will abandon a paper that does not reflect their values, employ their people and support their region.