Struggling Australian newspaper group Fairfax revealed Wednesday that another 80 editorial and photo positions are set to be axed, including at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in Melbourne.
In a note to staff, managing director of Australian Publishing Media at Fairfax Allen Williams said 35 editorial positions, along with 30 photo jobs and 15 in lifestyle sections would likely go.
"The changes we are proposing are similar to the more progressive and efficient models being used by other media organisations around the world," Williams said in the note seen by AFP.
"We must deliver our high-quality content in the most efficient way possible."
The arrangements would see more copy-editing and page layout work done by external contractors with production jobs going from Sydney and Melbourne by year end.
Under the proposal, the lifestyle-oriented Life Media would restructure some of its divisions to make greater use of freelancers to deliver editorial content while on the images side, more work will be outsourced to external service provider Getty Images.
"Our photographic needs across all platforms continue to be commissioned by editorial however most assignments will be facilitated by Getty photographers for our publications," the note said.
Fairfax sent shockwaves through Australia's media sector in 2012 by announcing it was sacking hundreds of staff and putting its newspapers -- the only serious rival to Rupert Murdoch's vast Australian News Corp. holdings -- behind a paywall.
Like many media groups, they have struggled with the transition to digital in a bid to combat sliding print advertising and circulation revenues.
The journalists' union said the latest redundancies represented "an assault on the quality journalism that has been the hallmark" of Fairfax for more than a century and showed the company was incapable of deciding on production arrangements and sticking with them.
"The only decision the company seems capable of making is to keep cutting staff," said Christopher Warren from the Media, Entertainment, Arts Alliance (MEAA).
"When do we reach the point of no return? Why isn't more effort being made to protect and promote editorial quality and utilise smarter ways of working? At what point does Fairfax stop being a news organisation and merely become a commissioning agency that outsources everything it does?"
Last August, Fairfax reported annual revenues were down 8.2 percent at Aus$2.0 billion but chief Greg Hywood said the company was "meeting or surpassing all critical milestones" in its transition online, which has also seen its mastheads go tabloid.