FAIRFAX Media has revealed its plans for a “digital first” nationalised editorial structure.
The restructure is “the most significant editorial transformation” in the company’s history and will fundamentally change the way staff work, according to Fairfax Metro editorial director, Garry Linnell.
The new structure incorporated staff at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Canberra Times, WA Today, and Brisbane Times.
Print and digital will no longer operate separately with the editor-in-chief at each masthead responsible for all platforms.
News directors – a newly created role – will function as operational leaders in the newsrooms under the authority of the editor-in-chief.
There will be five platform editors focusing exclusively on print, online, tablet, social media, or mobile.
The old system of rounds will be replaced by reporters writing across all platforms and reporting to “topic editors”.
“Topic-based reporting teams will include national politics, business, travel, food and wine and motoring, with more to come,” Mr Linnell said.
“National pools will also be established in production and presentation, including video, graphics and design, to help us better meet the needs of this digital-facing news operation.”
Reporters will now file stories throughout the day via an internal “wire” accessible to all metro newsrooms. Their copy will be immediately publishable across any platform.
“Some newsroom practices such as duplication, over-commissioning and ‘editor-shopping’ will disappear,” said Mr Linnell.
“Our new model promotes speed, protects the special geographic interests of our readers and greatly encourages creativity and collaboration.
“Some newsroom roles will disappear while many new ones emerge.”
The recommendations were the outcome of an internal “editorial review project” headed by Mr Linnell.