The merging of NZME’s news teams from its various operations in print, radio and online into one all-purpose news gathering is due to be completed by the end of the year. As we’ve previously noted, the great smooshing of 2015 has already begun with a handful of journalists and columnists for The New Zealand Herald now looking for new jobs.
Today, October the ninth, is when the company’s “consulting” with staff about the mass integration ends, the decisions will be made and they find out exactly what that means for their jobs. There’s likely to be an emphasis on multi-skilled journalists who can produce not only copy, but also audio and video stories simultaneously and to a number of different outlets and audiences. There are going to be redundancies, possibly (hopefully) it won’t be as bad as originally thought. In any case today will be a tough one in those newsrooms and offices.
It all seems as bleak as Jeremy Corbyn riding the night bus, so bleak it appears even the celestial bodies governing our fortunes have aligned in recognition. On the eighteenth of September, the day the NBR broke the news of the Herald layoffs, several sharp eyes (including those of former Herald editor and current RNZ media commentator Gavin Ellis) noticed some interesting entries in the horoscopes section of the publication in question.
The health advice is just good sense and regular check ups are something The Spinoff endorses, but the reference to October 9? The very day the future of several positions at NZME will be unveiled? It’s probably just a coincidence.
Ok, twice is freaky for sure, but everyone one knows this stuff is squirted out by the office cleaner or the intern everyone wants out of their hair. It’s all mumbo-jumbo anyway.
Okay, seriously though, this one is almost existential:
Though it be plagued by many crises, the newspaper industry has always enjoyed a good spot of hidden gallows humour. We’ve been told by a source at NZME there’s a “good natured” hunt to find the cheeky horoscope impostor. I hope they’re not found. I hope they keep their job. The new multimedia publishing world needs cleverness and drollery just as much as the old one.