Fairfax photographers hit as 80 jobs go at paper titles

FAIRFAX Media has confirmed it will cut 80 full-time positions across newsrooms in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.

Staff at The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and Canberra Times were told the cuts are focused on the "continuing transformation of the business".

The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) says the latest round of redundancies represent an assault on the quality journalism that has been the hallmark of the group for more than a century.

"With about 10 per cent of all staff targeted, the decision aims to strip a net 25 full-time equivalent jobs from editorial production, 30 photographers (while outsourcing photos to Getty Images) and up to 15 from the Life Media division.

MEAA federal secretary Christopher Warren said: "This will further erode the ability of the staff who remain to do their jobs without a marked increase in work intensification. It strips a massive loss in skills, experience and knowledge from the group.

"Fairfax seems incapable of deciding on new production arrangements and sticking with them. The only decision the company seems capable of making is to keep cutting staff.

"When do we reach the point of no return? Why isn't more effort being made to protect and promote editorial quality and utilise smarter ways of working?

"At what point does Fairfax stop being a news organisation and merely become a commissioning agency that outsources everything it does?"

MEAA will hold stop-work meetings with members at Fairfax daily newspapers in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra and will pursue discussions with the company.