Dan Tehan wants to see regional newspapers grow

FEDERAL Member for Wannon, Dan Tehan hopes Fairfax Media has listened and consulted widely as it prepares to make a decision on a proposal to restructure Victorian newspaper mastheads including The Ararat Advertiser and Stawell Times-News.

Under the proposal, announced in March, job losses will occur at both newspapers.

Mr Tehan said newspapers such as The Ararat Advertiser and Stawell Times-News are an integral part of a local community.

“I met with Fairfax before Christmas and during that meeting I implored Fairfax to carry out a thorough and proper consultative process,” he said.

“To listen to what employees had to say when consultations took place.”

Mr Tehan said he was particularly concerned about the potential loss of local photographers and a full time journalist position shared between Ararat and Stawell.

“The idea that one photographer could service three newspapers: Horsham, Ararat and Stawell is ludicrous,” he said.

“I would hope that having been told this, they (Fairfax) will not follow through with such a plan.

“Also, there is a need for quality journalists, that is what the success of local newspapers is based on and Fairfax as an organisation should know this.”

Mr Tehan said editorial staff are an important part of the news gathering process.

“One of the things I was eager to point out is the important role photographers and journalists play in country communities,” he said.

“I also asked them to consider it is the rural newspapers which are the profitable part of their business.

“Newspapers like The Ararat Advertiser and Stawell Times-News have a proud history of servicing the local community and I want to see that continue and grow rather than diminish and I would hope that Fairfax as an organisation is striving for that as well.”

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