Change ahead for Fairfax Victorian regionals

Fairfax Media has announced a suite of changes across its Victorian regional newspapers, which will include new editorial systems, visual redesigns as well as a program of redundancies.

Victorian journalists and sales staff were briefed on Wednesday. The changes are part of an 18-month plan that Fairfax subsidiary Australian Community Media announced last year.

All 13 mastheads across Victoria will be revamped, and no titles will be closed. Newsrooms will adopt digital-first editorial practices.

The newsroom at the Ballarat Courier will become a centralised hub for services across the group, although each newspaper and its reporters will maintain a local footprint in their respective coverage areas.

There will be around 80 full-time positions made redundant, including 62 newsroom management, subediting and photographic roles.

The balance is made up of administration and sales staff.

“Journalists will report local news across multimedia, as well as be trained to write headlines, captions and fact-boxes,” ACM director John Angilley said in a statement. “Quality-checking processes and procedures will be in place and our editors will remain responsible for managing risk and maintaining editorial standards,” he said.

“No final decisions have been made. It remains business as usual in other parts of our business as no plans for change have been developed in those regions.

“The Victorian proposal is the result of extensive consideration of the needs of the business.”

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