The past few days have been challenging for The Age newsroom, here is a message to our subscribers describing what it has been like and answering some of your questions.
Staff at The Age spent most of last year working from home. Here we go again, not due to a global pandemic this time, but a cyber attack.
The attack hit Nine’s systems early on Sunday morning, disrupting live television in Sydney as workers arrived and found their computers unresponsive. The Age was also affected, especially our print newspapers, as networks were locked down to protect our systems and data.
The flow-on effects could be seen in our newspapers in recent days – for example, graphics and new photographs could not be used and we reduced the number of pages.
Deputy editor Michael Bachelard, who was editing on Sunday, says it was a mad scramble to put out Monday’s newspaper.
It was a bit like going back to the 1950s, using a digitised version of the same print techniques from that period – a lot of cutting and pasting! Monday night was also challenging but we are now confident we can produce unimpaired newspapers in the coming days and weeks.
I am so proud of our production staff – led by production editor Wade Pearce and Monday to Friday print editor Selma Milovanovic who ensured the newspaper was published in the most difficult of circumstances.
Thankfully, our website and apps mostly remain unaffected and any login issues you may have experienced have now been resolved. We are all working from home for now so we can use our own internet network.
Who organised this attack is not yet clear, but it is a wake-up call for businesses and governments that this kind of disruption is likely to become more common. This was a sophisticated attack, which seriously affected one of Australia’s biggest media organisations.
I want to apologise to you for the compromises we have had to make to the quality of the newspaper to ensure its publication and delivery, and for your experience on our website and app during this time. We are doing everything possible to get the issues fixed quickly and we will keep you up to date about any developments. For more information, please see our FAQs below.
Frequently asked questions
Will my newspaper continue to be delivered?
We are working hard to maintain normal home delivery services, however your paper may be delivered slightly later than usual. If you don’t receive your delivery, please let us know by submitting a request here.
Will I be able to manage my subscription preferences or update my details?
Our ‘My Account’ website portal is temporarily unavailable so you will not be able to change your payment method, update your login details, suspend your paper delivery, change your subscription package or sign up to newsletters at this time. If you urgently require assistance, please contact our Customer Service team by submitting a request here. We’ll aim to respond as soon as possible but please bear with us as we are experiencing a high volume of requests.
How long will it be before things are back to normal?
All of our support teams are currently working to resolve the issues we’re experiencing as soon as possible. We thank you for your patience.
If I’m going away over Easter, will I be able to suspend my delivery?
The systems we use to process suspensions are currently unavailable but we will endeavour to apply all suspensions as requested. The best way to suspend your delivery at the current time is to submit a request here. Please send through your request as soon as possible as we will be unable to accept requests for Easter suspensions after today. These will be prioritised, however, please bear with us as we are experiencing a high volume of requests.
Will my subscription renewal payment be affected?
Yes, we are not currently able to accept paper delivery subscription payments. If you are nearing your expiry date, you will continue to receive your paper delivery for 2 weeks after that date. We are working hard to restore the payment process as soon as possible. To ensure your subscription continues after your additional 2 weeks, please contact our Customer Service team by submitting a request here.
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