Telegraph Media Group has outsourced subbing and layout of its weekend supplements to a production house in Australia.
TMG is sending raw copy and images to AAP’s Pagemasters production house in Rhodes which then sends back completed pages. AAP is jointly owned by Fairfax and Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd.
Last year the Telegraph outsourced its printing to News International.
According to the Syndey Morning Herald, the move means that pages can be worked on overnight London time without having to pay overtime.
It also reports that journalists in Australia tend to earn lower salaries and, because of the weak dollar, this works out at around a half to two-thirds of what is paid to colleagues in the uK.
Critics of outsourced probuction warn that local specialist knowledge shown by sub-editors can be essential when it comes to writing headlines and spotting mistakes.
Writing on Jeff Jarvis’s Buzz Machine blog, Telegraph digital editor Ed Roussel said: “I can confirm that we are outsourcing the production work for newspaper weekend supplements to Australia – and thereby saving quite a bit of money.
“The copy goes to Australia once it has been approved by an editor in London.
“Both the outsourcing of production and printing has allowed us to reduce costs and raise standards: NI has state-of-the-art color printing presses and we are happy with the standard of work that’s being done in Australia.
“Reducing the cost of manufacturing and distribution is an imperative for any newspaper group that is determined to remain profitable, as we are. This is a great time to be shopping around the world for value-for-money partners.
“The principle holds true on the digital side. ITN creates our video content, providing quality and value that we would struggle to generate internally; Brightcove handles our video distribution; Google powers our search; Escenic provides our web publishing tool; we use software developers in Bulgaria and India.
“Newspaper-web companies should focus internal resource on what they do best: creating premium editorial content.”