“Trouble at t’paper”

[I wrote this essay “on spec” for Crikey a fortnight ago, just when the Fairfax journalists were going on strike. It wasn’t published: Crikey had commissioned other yarns about this story, and some bloke called Obama had just given a speech. I’ll publish it now because it informs an essay I’m writing today and it needs to be online first.]

Australia’s Fairfax media empire is sacking 550 staff, including 120-odd editorial staff, and the journalists went on strike. Well, off you go, petals. You can stamp your feet and turn blue in the face too, for all I care — because a strike is just plain wrong.

The MEAA‘s Chris Warren reckoned the anger behind the strike was driven by not just the jobs cuts, “but the clear view that there’s no strategy behind the job cuts.” Agreed. As Crikey reported, Fairfax’s message to staff didn’t articulate any kind of vision, and didn’t even mention journalism.

But journalists haven’t exactly provided vision either.

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