Author Archive

Redundancy in the media by Elizabeth Anderson

Posted: May 29, 2014 by lizzie85 in Music

From a news perspective, redundancy makes a great story, particularly when it is on a large scale. There are a lot of angles- a business struggling to survive and stay profitable, a heartless business, the possibility of salvation, the concern about quality and the struggling battler who will suffer as a result. There has been quite a bit about redundancy in the news lately, as more and more companies are looking to cut margins. When there is a story about a big business moving jobs offshore to save money and boost profits, the media really loves it and goes searching for the human angle. However, when it is the media itself that is cutting jobs, sending work offshore and cutting margins, the way the media reports it is a little different. Depending on which media company is currently undergoing redundancies, will influence how the story is told. But all sides generally shy away from personalising these stories, because they know it may be them next. Generally the story will focus on numbers- how many are going. Any opposition will focus on quality issues. This story focuses on the human person, and his family, of someone affected by the changes in the mediascape. It takes a nameless, faceless person from the “300 pre-production staff” cut from Fairfax Media’s bottom line and introduces him, his family and the problems he is going to face. In an industry where there are mass redundancies, it can be difficult to find a new job. There are more people out there looking for less jobs. The is true in the mediascape and it is especially true in smaller cities or towns where there often are no other places for a middle-aged man with that skill set. Redundancy stories are often popular because there is something of a voyeuristic element from the audience. They watch and can feel better that they still have their job; not that they wish bad on others, it just affirms their own place. There is sometimes almost a feeling that the reason this person lost their job was somehow their own fault, and therefore it could not happen to the viewer. However this story shows that redundancy is not just something that happens to someone else. The department in question was efficient, the people were skilled. However they are a department that not many people outside the media industry would even know exists. Because of that it is worth sharing their story and making sure the media is under the same scrutiny that they place on other businesses.