Australia: AAP Newswire expected to be saved

The proposed Australian Associated Press (AAP) newswire sale is in the final stages of negotiation with a consortium of investors and philanthropists. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) encourage the consortium’s management team to consult the MEAA and look after the interests of media workers.

Credit: AAP

The sale of Australia’s major newswire service, AAP is expected to be finalised by mid-June. The consortium of AAP’s future shareholders includes former News Corporation chief executive Peter Tonagh. According to the MEAA, “The proposed purchase will see the retention of up to 75 editorial jobs that just a week ago looked to be lost.”

MEAA said: It was short-sighted for AAP’s major shareholders to not fully appreciate the importance and value of the business they had owned for decades. It is fortunate that there were others who did recognise AAP’s worth which has led to today’s announcement.”

“MEAA will be consulting with our members and will seek a meeting with the consortium’s management team to discuss the transition process so that we can continue to look after the interests of all our members across the AAP business,” MEAA Media section federal president Marcus Storm added. 

The IFJ said: “This is a critical win for Australia’s media industry and comes after sustained campaigning and negotiation from journalists, media advocacy groups and, of course, their union MEAA. AAP has played a critical role in Australia’s media landscape and while it was underrated by previous management, it certainly wasn’t by the wider media community. All society benefits from a diversity of media and we encourage the new owners to listen and engage with journalists on its future sustainability strategies.”

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The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

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