Labor MPs: Local Media Needs Local Content


Local Federal Members, Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones, today voiced their support for local Fairfax editors, journalists, artists and photographers who are set to lose their jobs at regional newsrooms.


The Illawarra Mercury, Wollongong Advertiser, Lake Times and Kiama Independent have a proud history reporting on issues that matter to people in the region.


The prospect of job cuts is more bad news for the editorial team at the Illawarra Mercury, which has been halved since 2012. Its sub-editing has been outsourced to New Zealand which has affected the quality of our local content. 

Sharon Bird said that the Mercury editorial team had already been affected by earlier job cuts.


“This new proposed round of cuts will put further pressure on staff here in Wollongong.  These staff – journalists, photographers, advertising and administrative staff - are part of our community, we feel for them and their families.


“I am also very concerned that this will greatly affect the community’s access to local news as we rely on local journalists who know our area to cover our events and stories.


“Stephen and I strongly support the local campaign to keep these jobs in our local area.” 

Stephen Jones said that job cuts would impact on the standard of print journalism in the region.

“The task of putting together the day’s news is already extremely difficult for Fairfax staff in the region and now it is going to get even harder.

“This is a sad day for journalism in the region, people in the area often tell me that they value quality Illawarra reporting.

“As I have said before, the Mercury has produced a number of Walkley Award winners, but their ability to produce more will be compromised if these cuts occur.”

Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones reaffirm their longstanding support the local Fairfax team in the Illawarra in their fight to retain quality, informative and community-based local newspapers.