The Press Association, currently trying to emerge from its regional text news background as a multimedia news wire, is looking to off-set its investment costs by closing some regional offices, instead asking reporters to work from home.
PA’s reporters in several UK cities have long filed copy from home without need for an office. Now it’s shutting its West Midlands HQ when the lease expires on July 1, and is considering the same for its Manchester office and one of two Cardiff centres when those leases expire in 2010 and 2011, HTFP reports. A spokesperson told paidContent:UK: “Our editorial management team carried out a review of all our regional offices, to weigh up the benefits versus the costs, looking at spending editorial budgets in the best possible way.” PA also offloaded PA SportsTicker to America’s Stats LLC in March.
Though some in online journalism circles still talk about homeworking as futuristic fantasy, as PA shows, it’s now been with us for some time. It’s only natural that companies looking to cut costs look at dropping one of the costliest burdens – bricks and mortar – not least since some will find what’s lost in social contact, in the wired age, may be made up in productivity. PA: “Often days go by without the reporters going in. Even the ones that work from home at the moment are equipped with cameras and videos, and send in file-based multimedia.”