|Issue No 6||26 March 1999|
AAP Pushes To Create Virtual Reporters
Reporters at the national wire service, AAP, have rejected a plan for them to take photos and record audio grabs at news conferences for a new Internet news service.
Staff fear that Australian Associated Press wants to turn their wire reporters into jacks-of-all-trades and believe that with current low staffing levels, the increased duties would compromise the quality of their work.
But management says that it must move towards a multi-media news service in an evolutionary way if it is to match other major media outlets like Fairfax, News and the ABC.
The journalists were asked to trial the digital technology for no extra pay, as part of a plan to establish a major new Internet provider.
According to AAP management the introduction of technology will not see a large increase in skills and workload required. They say the digital cameras, for instance, are merely a point and click affair.
But the journalists argue the idea is impractical, especially if they are also attempting to take short-hand at a press conferences. A national ballot of MEAA members rejected the proposal at stop work meetings this week and called on the company to hire photographers to generate the pictorial content.
AAP Editor-in-Chief Tony Vermeer told Workers Online that the company would continue to work towards an expanded Internet service and
"There are obviously concerns we've got to work through, but the issues we are dealing with won't go away; we need to come to grips with this new technology
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005