‘Canberra Times’ confirms loss of literary editor position; some local book content to remain
The Canberra Times has confirmed that the position of literary editor has been cut, as previously reported by Bookseller+Publisher. However, editor Rod Quinn told Bookseller+Publisher that the paper would continue to source some local book content.
Responding to reports that the Canberra Times’ books pages will be sourced from Fairfax’s mastheads in Victoria and NSW, Quinn said that there will be ‘some shared book reviews’, but that books that are ‘particular to Canberra’, including books by Canberra authors, books about Canberra and books that have ‘a particular resonance with a Canberra readership’, will continue to be sourced locally. These titles will be ‘decided on merit’, he said.
Quinn said that reports that literary editor Gia Metherell and arts editor Diana Streak are ‘negotiating their futures’ were misleading, as voluntary redundancies are currently open to all Canberra Times staff, and no discussions have been had around forced redundancies. He also corrected the report that the position of arts editor has been cut, saying that he has had ‘no conversations about changes to the position of arts editor’.
Quinn said that the paper is still working out how it will deliver local content without a literary editor, adding that Metherell ‘has done a brilliant job’. He also said that the Canberra Times would continue to support local literary events.
‘We need to work out how we can best represent local interests while at the same time getting the best value from our resources,’ said Quinn of the proposed changes.