The news that Nine aims to merge with Fairfax Media — it’s actually a Nine takeover, but never mind — has prompted Fairfaxians to fits of frothing. Apparently, if you insist on filling newspapers and websites with biased and tendentious rubbish, this should be a guarantee of life everlasting.
Sorry, but that only applies at the ABC.
In commercial media your readers abandon you and advertisers flee. It’s also what happens when, rather than retain experienced newsroom hands, you cede control of editorial content to work-for-peanuts children who view the world through the social-justice perspective their journalism school lecturers invested so much effort to impart.
Comrades, let us remake the world one young journalist at a time!
And re-made it will be. As Nine is primarily interested in Fairfax’s radio properties, don’t count on either the Age or SMH surviving beyond the short term. Where will Barking Betty Farrelly howl about Abbott then? Silly question! What is the ABC for if not to guarantee the mortgages of lefty mates who can’t cut it in the real world?
What went wrong? In a recent Quadrant, Robert Murray looked at the Age and summed it up thus,
“A lot of people around Melbourne … dismiss the Age with disdain. They agree with the description of the late Peter Ryan, in one of his last Quadrant columns, that it has become a “feeble and foolish newspaper”.
Murray’s column, “An Age of Decreptitude“, can be read via this link or the one below.