Publishers join forces for a united lobby voice

THE country's four major newspaper publishers have formed a new venture, the Newspaper Works, to give the industry a united voice on a range of issues from environmental sustainability to collecting readership data.

THE country's four major newspaper publishers have formed a new venture, the Newspaper Works, to give the industry a united voice on a range of issues from environmental sustainability to collecting readership data.

Under the new banner, the publishers at Fairfax Media, News Ltd, Seven West Media and APN News & Media have the scope to discuss, comment and set collective policies to make the sector more efficient for advertisers and readers.

The Newspaper Works' chief executive is Tony Hale. Mark Hollands, the chief executive of the Newspaper Publishers Association, will be responsible for leading the new organisation in areas including advocacy and industry best practice.

Greg Hywood, the chief executive of Fairfax Media, publisher of The Sydney Morning Herald, is the chairman.

Announcing the new group, Mr Hywood said yesterday it would encompass all major issues including advocacy, marketing and advertising, government lobbying and regulation, the environment and professional excellence.

The Newspaper Works will be charged with aggressively promoting newspapers across all print and digital platforms to advertisers, consumers, governments and shareholders as well as to staff and industry partners.

The four major publishers will own The Newspaper Works but membership will be broadened to include other publishers and suppliers as associate members.

"We believe the industry will benefit from having a single voice," Mr Hywood said. "It is not about cost savings but about giving the newspaper and media industry focus and clarity."

Mr Hale said it was an important initiative in what is a very fragmented industry and that it was a world leader in its concept.

"It will enable us to put different skill sets together while also having a collective voice in a range off issues such as sport rights, freedom of information and copyright laws," Mr Hale said.

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