Are Fairfax going down the toilet like the Herald now?

One thing you could say for Fairfax over the last year is that they made less errors than the NZ Herald.

That may not last.

In a cost cutting exercise to chase more shareholder value, they’re dressing this up as a mere matter of training

via Twitter

via Twitter

One of Fairfax’s editors, says

We had a couple of really good sessions in the newsroom this week.

It was training day with two visiting tutors – a former big-paper editor and an award-winning news writer.

A daily journalist is so busy reporting and writing stories to deadline we don’t get much time to think about our actual craft. We don’t always think “could I have done that interview differently” or “how should I have written that story so it was easier to read”.

And let’s not start on our mistakes. The problem with those is that they are so public. As the tutors reminded us, if we get the small details wrong – really basic things like names, spelling, dates – then the readers won’t trust us with the big details.

All really valuable reminders.

The best part of a training session like that is having time away from the keyboard and the phone to actually think about what we do and how.

The tutors have given us all a checksheet of tips. This is basic stuff, but we can never be reminded often enough.

They were here as part of a programme running through our Fairfax NZ group called Right First Time, which is putting heat on reporters to do it properly from the outset rather than relying on someone else to pick up our errors.

I hope you notice a difference.

I find it amusing that they think they no longer need people to check each other’s work.

If it was that easy, we would have done this decades ago.

This blog is a testament to not checking each other’s work as it is a direct to audience publication stream to keep immediacy, intimacy and timeliness.

But I can get away with it (yup, I see the clangers the next day) – but are we now in a situation where “real Media” are choosing to drop their standards, or are they having to?

Is this chasing the dollar, or a matter of survival?

Instead of people like me turning into “media”, are the media in effect turning into bloggers?

Interesting times…

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