Jobs are being slashed from the mining sector, it’s an unavoidable fact but when media outlets begin to hype up stories and pull numbers out of thin air it does a hell of a lot more damage.
Ninemsn today reports a whopping 55,000 coal mining jobs are at risk.
Really? Australian Mining smells bulls**t.
The Australian coal industry directly employs 55,000 people, although based on the 2006 census the figure was just short of 27,000 people.
Reading on, looking for some sort of source or reason for where the number came from, there wasn’t much.
Short of quoting a figure of 9000 jobs already being slashed from the coal industry, which originally came from the Australian Coal Association, and stating that all 1300 of Rio Tinto’s employees at the Mt Thorley Warkworth mine risk losing their jobs if the mine’s expansion plans don’t get the green light, the story in question didn’t add much else.
It’s hyped up, headline grabbing stories like this that give the media a bad name, and only make our jobs harder, fostering scepticism within the industry and driving uncertainty in the community and the market.
Especially for those who don’t understand the context behind the coal sector at the moment.
In short Australia’s coal sector is facing tougher times, it is operating on thinner margins, and there has been – and will continue to be – layoffs.
But let’s be realistic and credible shall we? Claiming the whole sector risks losing its jobs is crazy.
The fact of the matter is coal will still be dug out of the ground, it is a vital resource that drives economies around the globe and Australia is blessed with high quality seams.
So mainstream media, if you want to report on our turf, great, but get the facts right.
Below is a great representation of why it’s important to get your facts right.