When will the final axe fall for News Corp staff photographers?

The writing was on the wall as far back as 2017, almost four years to the day, when around 70 staff photographers across News Corp mastheads were told that they were being made redundant. And now, as reported in The Guardian, even more redundancies have been announced, this time at titles including including Geelong Advertiser, the NT News, the Hobart Mercury, the Townsville Bulletin, the Gold Coast Bulletin, and the Cairns Post.

At one point, News Corp had over 100 photographers on staff, but with the move to an outsourced model moving swiftly ahead, the number of staff photographers is heading ever close to zero. Staff made redundant will be replaced with freelancers going forward, and will be able to buy their staff photography gear and join the freelance pool.

Back in November, the company slashed 25 jobs, including 16 photography positions. While in June 2020, multiple Walkley-award winning chief photographer Gary Ramage, the company’s only remaining staff photographer in Canberra, was given his marching orders, with News Corp relying entirely on agency photographers and freelancers.

In the wake of deals being formalised with Facebook and Google along with an increase in paid subscribers, News Corp will look to create around 100 additional editorial roles. As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, these roles are likely to be for cadet postions and othe positions across digital local and regional mastheads, with a focus predominalty on audio and video journalism.


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