Journalists’ union questions Mamamia decision to advertise for subeditors in Bangladesh

Mamamia logoThe union representing journalists in Australia has raised concerns after online publisher Mamamia posted job adverts looking for subeditors in India and Bangladesh.

The publisher of women’s websites including Mamamia, The Glow and Debrief Daily, is currently advertising two part-time subeditor positions, one based in India and the other in Bangladesh.

Mamamia sub-editor

Media Entertainment Arts Alliance (MEAA) CEO Paul Murphy expressed concern about the move and questioned whether we may see a trend in online publishers looking to move jobs to countries where salary expectations are much lower than Australia. 

Murphy told Mumbrella: “Great subediting is about knowing your audience, knowing the details behind a story and having ready access to the reporters. It takes a high degree of journalistic skill, knowledge, experience and wisdom.

“Cutting costs by offshoring risks alienating your loyal readership as embarrassing errors creep into stories, and has the potential for costly disasters. There are plenty of great subs with years of experience seeking work in Australia – why not employ some of them?”

Mamamia has declined to comment on the nature of the roles, or whether they will impact any of its employees in Australia.

Fairfax Media has come under fire in recent months for a number of errors including repeating stories in its newspapers after moving most of its sub-editing duties to New Zealand to save costs.

In India a copy editor earns an average salary of $4,854 a year while Bangladeshi rates for such work are understood to be lower. The Mamamia job advert does not specify a salary.

The MEAA award for editorial employees, including sub-editors, outlines the minimum wage for a band one, grade three journalist responsible for sub-editing is $847.60 a week, or $44,000 a year.

According to the job advert, successful applicants will need “a solid background in journalism and copy editing, excellent spelling, grammar and a sound general knowledge, good time-management skills and ability to work to tight deadlines, able to write engaging copy, captions, headlines and sells, a basic knowledge of WordPress and to be highly organised with attention to detail, resilience and determination to achieve the desired results.”

Mamamia has previously come under fire for not paying its contributors, although it says it has now stopped that practice.

Miranda Ward and Nic Christensen 


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.