by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Panpa Bulletin : April 2007
PANPA Bulletin April 2007 7 news Union powerless to stop APN outsourcing By Warren Page Union opposition to APN News and Media proposed large-scale out- sourcing of sub-editing and layout jobs in New Zealand may not be able to extend much beyond words. APN News and Media could be expected to take that relative powerlessness into account when considering union argu- ments against the company's proposal to outsource the sub-editing and layout of its major New Zealand newspapers and some other publications. The company may also have to consider how to reduce the public impact of union claims that the cost-cutting exercise would reduce the quality of the news in the APN publications concerned. Publications involved in the original pro- posal include the country's largest daily, The New Zealand Herald, the Herald on Sunday, the Aucklander, regional dailies like the Northern Advocate, and Hawke's Bay Today, along with the Listener magazine. More than 70 jobs around the country are at risk, according to the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union repre- senting some APN journalists. The compa- ny is not publicly saying how many jobs are at stake in its considering outsourcing the work to PageMasters, a part of Australian Associated Press. Nor was the company commenting upon a meeting of approximately two hours in Auckland with the union representa- tives on April 13. Union national secretary Andrew Little was more forthcoming. But to the question, as to what the union could do to further oppose any APN deter- mination to proceed with the outsourcing Little said, "There's not a great deal we can do. We cannot stop management from mak- ing a decision. [If the company outsources] then we will have to deal with our members' interests in the best way possible." Industrial action, said Little, was not con- templated at that stage. The union's research, he said, showed that experience with outsourcing in some places overseas had not worked and in some cases had to be reversed. He did not have the research immediately to hand to give specifics. At the meeting with APN executives Little said that the union explained its concerns about the potential of outsourcing to reduce the quality of the printed news and features, the loss of local knowledge and experience, and the break in relationship between re- porters who write the copy and sub-editors who check for accuracy. The APN representatives, according to Little, argued that quality would not be compromised, the outsourced sub-edi- tors working in Auckland on a story from a regional newspaper like the Rotorua Post would make check calls to the originating office so that there would not be a severing of that reporter-sub-editor relationship. APN believed that the union concerns about such issues were over stated. APN New Zealand publishing division chief executive Martin Simons was earlier reported in the press as saying the out- sourcing proposal reflected global trends in newspaper publishing. Newspaper and magazine editors, he said, would retain full control of all published material, with reporting and newsgathering unaffected. Rival newspaper and magazine group Fairfax Media's chief executive Joan Withers was also earlier reported to have said outsourcing editorial jobs was not on the Fairfax agenda. Footnote: Co-incidentally the Television One channel proposes to layo up to 60 journalists and behind camera sta in a NZ$10 million slash of the news and current a airs budget. The channel is battling loss of advertising revenue and viewers but the cutting of the news and current a airs sta and closure of three news bureaus is drawing strident criticism about what will happen to the quality and content of the channel's news and current a airs. Newsprint prices set to fall By Jack Beverley Australian newspaper organisations look set to benefit from a seven per cent reduc- tion in the cost of newsprint in the new financial year. The price of standard grade(45gsm) stock delivered by Norske Skog from July 1 is expected to drop by about $70 below the quoted price of $1023 a tonne. As Norske Skog provides Australia with about 750,000 tonnes annually, the overall saving for the major publishers (News Limited, Fairfax Media, WAN Newspapers, Rural Press and APN) will be approximately $52 million dollars. The reduction -- a reversal of a match- ing seven per cent "capped increase" that was applied to deliveries during the cur- rent year --- stems largely from the recent substantial improvement in the value of the Australian dollar against the US dollar. Much earlier this year the indications were that there would be little variation to the Norske Skog price. Under a ten-year supply agreement that was signed by the publishers in 2000, prices are reviewed in a defined period immedi- ately before the end of each financial year, applying a formula that takes into consid- eration spot prices and exchange rates. In the current review period, the Australian dollar has improved by nearly five cents against its US counterpart, hit- ting a high of more than 83 cents. The price of newsprint supplied to US publishers has also declined sharply The ten-year contacts entered into by Norske Skog were aimed at providing pro- tection for the publishers against excessive price swings. In any given year, swings are "capped" at seven per cent. "In the current review period, the Australian dollar has improved by nearly ve cents against its US counterpart ... The price of newsprint supplied to US publishers has also declined sharpley." "... experience with outsourcing in some places overseas had not worked and in some cases had to be reversed."