I’ve been surrounded and inspired by journalists since I was a little girl.
My dad was a federal politician so I’d often answer the phone to the likes of Michelle Grattan and Laurie Oakes and eavesdrop on their interviews.
Back then, the press gallery and politicians crossed swords, had a mutual respect and often became mates. Almost twenty years later my dad still catches up with John Lyons, Donald Greenlees and Kerry O’Brien over a glass of red, they still debate voraciously and throw barbs.
But the friendship is always secondary to illuminating the truth and telling the story; as it should be.
In my experience, these men and women are dedicated, tenacious and guided by integrity. They have usually trained for many years under the guidance of other experienced journalists and they are held to account. They get their butts kicked when they get it wrong.
Unfortunately the digital world isn’t held to the same strict measures and should be treated accordingly.
The fall from grace of “wellness” blogger Belle Gibson is an example of how hundreds of thousands of people can be misguided and fork out money under false pretences on social media. It is scary.
In the blogging world it’s a bit like digital chinese whispers and I’m always amazed how quickly something becomes fact.
That’s why we need to get behind the Fairfax campaign and the journalists decision to go on strike.
120 journalists will go in Sydney in Melbourne in a cost-cutting drive, this comes after the company posted a half-year profit of $27.4 million.
Here is a letter from Paul Murphy the CEO of Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance in relation to the Fairfax campaign for quality journalism.
Journalists and other editorial staff did not take the decision to go on strike last week lightly.
Our members care deeply about the publications they work and are passionate about producing fearless, independent and quality journalism. They want to see maintained the proud reputation that has been built over 185 years, in the case of The Sydney Morning Herald.
Yesterday, members of the MEAA Fairfax house committees in Sydney and Melbourne met with Fairfax management and forcefully made the case that cutting 120 more editorial staff will have a serious impact on the ability to continue delivering the quality journalism that The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review are renowned for.
We again urged management to look for alternative cost-saving and revenue-raising measures to these savage staff cuts.
We walked into the negotiations with the names of more than 12,000 supporters behind us, and it helped enormously in showing to management the depth of feeling and concern from the mastheads’ readers about the impact of cutting quality journalism.
MEAA members want to work with Fairfax management to ensures the company has a profitable future, but we are adamant that the scale of the cuts which are being proposed will undermine the very reason people read and subscribe to the newspapers and websites.
The campaign is only just beginning and, based on past experience, the fight to save jobs will take weeks.
Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance