Sunday, August 12, 2007

Outsourcing in New Zealand

From Editor and Publisher today:

Wave of Future? New Zealand Papers Outsource Editorial Work

WELLINGTON Newspaper publisher APN News & Media began yesterday to outsource editorial production work, a plan that will be extended to five daily and three weekly newspapers by the end of the year, APN deputy chief executive Rick Neville said.

The changes mean news editing and layout operations at the nation's biggest daily, The New Zealand Herald, and a string of regional dailies will be done by an outside contractor, he said.

Neville, who has led the editorial production re-engineering project for APN, said he was confident readers would not notice the difference in the papers' editing and design.

He said although there was a lot of international interest in the project, "people will be sitting and making sure we can make it work first".

"I've got no doubt about it being a success," he said.

APN is half-owned by Dublin's Independent News & Media PLC, which publishes 175 newspapers and magazines around the world and operates radio stations and outdoor advertising sites in Australia and New Zealand.

IN&M is owned by Irish businessman Tony O'Reilly, whose Irish newspapers are taking up the same editorial outsourcing strategy.

Neville said 20 full-time sub-editors would work at contractor Pagemasters New Zealand "operating on an extension of APN's Cyber computer editorial production system" at a site 20 minutes from the editorial offices.

Pagemasters is a subsidiary of Australian Associated Press.

After six weeks, when all Herald editing and make-up had been transferred to Pagemasters, "we move to the Aucklander weekly ... the Herald on Sunday ... and in October we will start transferring to regional papers," Neville said.

And New Zealand journalists worry there's too much Paris Hilton, not enough real news.

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