To: Fairfax Media chief executive officer Greg Hywood
Save the Newcastle Herald.
WE the undersigned are opposed to plans announced by Fairfax Media to export Hunter newspaper production jobs to New Zealand.
We believe this move, if adopted, will undermine the quality of one of the Hunter Region'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 Newcastle Herald has served the Hunter Region for more than 150 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.
The Newcastle Herald makes $15 million a year and is one of Fairfax Media's most profitable and successful mastheads. The Herald's staff have devised a plan that will create internal efficiencies and respond to a changing media environment by devoting more resources to multimedia.
Fairfax Media's plan is about cost-cutting and shows the company's only idea about how to respond to a changing media landscape is to take to hardworking newsrooms with a razorblade.
The people of the Hunter need 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 city.