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Thursday 12 May 2011

Typewriter Returns to Modern Newspaper Newsroom

From a journalist's point of view, Australia's Fairfax newspaper group is in crisis. The group includes the newspaper for which I work, The Canberra Times. Fairfax management today announced a determination to proceed with redundancies, rejecting a union bid to introduce instead hub sub-editing across the group. In a cost cutting measure, a large number of sub-editors will be made redundant at The Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne's The Age. We're all now looking over our shoulders. A moment of levity briefly lightened the otherwise sombre atmosphere in The Canberra Times newsroom tonight when a workmate asked me to fix the ribbon mechanism on a Brazilian-made plastic Hermes Baby (God forbid that I should hold an Olivetti Lettera 82 in my hands!). As I adjusted the switch inside the Baby, another colleague used his mobile phone to record the event, and it was quickly posted on Facebook. The caption read, "New era of technology at Fairfax ... Robert teaches Patrick about a typewriter."

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