APN begins editorial outsourcing

Media began outsourcing editorial production work in New Zealand yesterday, in a strategy being watched by media outlets in other countries.

A contractor, Pagemasters New Zealand, is now doing the editing and layout work for The New Zealand Herald and several regional and weekly papers.

APN says 20 full-time sub-editors at Pagemasters started work on Sunday in Auckland on an extension of the group’s computer editorial production system.

APN deputy chief executive Rick Neville said that by the end of 2007, Pagemasters will have about 45 editing staff to edit the seven newspapers. That is nearly 30 fewer than the newspapers employed for the job.

Pagemasters is a subsidiary of the Australian Associated Press news agency.

The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has said the move will erode the quality of news coverage because stories will be handled by editors unfamiliar with local issues.

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