I’ve spent my life surrounded by journalists. My mother was a journalist in the 1930s – on papers very few people remember or know about – Smith’s Weekly and the Labor Daily. She used to tell me great stories about her experiences. Later I married a journalist, Paul Dougherty who spent his working life in newspapers.
In the next generation, three of my children, Sarah, Bridget and Lulu have worked or are working in the media. I have dabbled in and out of media jobs through my life.
What hurts me most now is terrible situation in the media in Australia. Many of my friends are either losing their jobs or are being pushed into working fewer hours for the same jobs.
The sad thing it seems the only reason is money. The owners are looking at ways to come out on top. Advertising is down. Sales are down. I understand that but many of the people who work in the media are still doing a good job and some have been working in the same companies for many years. Putting in the extras hours when necessary to get their newspapers or magazines out in time. Often working long hours when a big story breaks or when a celebrity gets married at inconvenient time overseas and they need to get the photos in before the opposition. It was all part of the loyalty and trust.
But where is the loyalty now. These media companies have plenty of money to see them through the bad times. At least that is what used to happen.
Cutting back wages and expecting staff to work fewer days to do the same jobs; others are being given redundancies; making do with less staff – it doesn’t help to make a good product. The readers will leave and then what happens?
I know it is happening in other industries and I feel for these people too.
But I feel sad when I hear the talk about what is happening to the people I care for.