‘Not their finest hour’: Union reacts as Fairfax execs brief newsrooms on plans Media bosses are meeting with journalists in a bid to dispell growing concern over plans to outsource Fairfax’s, which have resulted in seven redundancies.

The announcement of the outsourcing deal with 112 Pty Ltd, owner of, was made on Tuesday and a deputation from the journalist’s union met with management on Wednesday seeking guarantees on editorial independence.

Today group editor Seam Aylmer and Fairfax Life Media and Events group managing director Andrew McEvoy addressed staff at Melbourne’s The Age newsroom after MEAA representatives met with management after journalists held stop work meetings in Sydney and Melbourne.

In a statement to members, the MEAA said that management had agreed the consultation over the move had been limited.

“Eventually the company accepted that the process to date regarding consultation had not been their finest hour, and have made a commitment to explore ways to ensure that editorial independence is being recognised in any future contractual arrangements,” said the MEAA statement.

Aylmer and McEvoy addressed journalists from The Age on Thursday afternoon and will meet with journalists at The Sydney Morning Herald on Friday. The pair are in Melbourne for the Walkley Awards.

“While this development is a step in the right direction, MEAA members expressed a unanimous view at meetings yesterday that the company must comply with their full obligations under the terms of the Agreement,” said the union in a statement.

“MEAA members intend to hold the company to full account on compliance, pursue remedy for any breaches and ensure that the company adheres to their own principles of editorial independence – which remain fundamental to the future prosperity and success of the company.”

Announcing the 50/50 joint venture, Fairfax said it would become a powerful force in online new car sales.

Fairfax will licence the Drive brand and URL to 112, which currently owns and operates, an independent online car-buyer resource.

Simon Canning


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