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Australia's Fairfax to cut 120 journalist jobs from major mastheads

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Fairfax Media Ltd, which publishes Australia's oldest newspaper, is set to cut the equivalent of 120 full-time editorial jobs at its major mastheads, underlining the tumult facing the troubled print industry as more readers flock online.

[MELBOURNE] Fairfax Media Ltd, which publishes Australia's oldest newspaper, is set to cut the equivalent of 120 full-time editorial jobs at its major mastheads, underlining the tumult facing the troubled print industry as more readers flock online.

Jobs will go at The Australian Financial Review, Melbourne's The Age newspaper, and the 185-year old Sydney Morning Herald, it said.

The headcount reduction underlines the unrelenting margin pressure facing the global print industry. Fairfax slashed 1,900 jobs or around one fifth its staff in 2012 and has since implemented a string of other cuts. "The company said it's committed to quality journalism, but we all are struggling to see how cutting journalists serves that purpose," said Anne Davies, a senior journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald.

Estimates of headcount reduction across the mastheads range from 12 to 20 percent, she added.

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In response, staff have walked off the job in an unauthorised strike until Monday morning, although the company will continue to publish as usual.

But while Australia's traditional media companies have been hard hit in the past few years, a bevy of new digital entrants have walked in, including local outposts of The Guardian from Britain as well as Buzzfeed, the Huffington Post and Vice Magazine from the United States.

REUTERS

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