Thursday, July 26, 2018

From left field

Channel 9 is to buy Fairfax Media? Wow, why weren't we told. Our conservative government changed the media laws, that were set up in the 80s to keep media diversity. Channel 9 is the commercial tv station oldies like, once owned by media and casino mogul Kerry Packer and later, his son James. It does a great story with immigrant problems and the poorest welfare recipient who cheats the system for a couple of dollars but rather fails on going after the big blokes.   Fairfax Media publishes the newspapers The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, along with electronic versions of similar papers in some other capital cities, such as WA Today and The Canberra Times, along with the Brisbane Times. The Age and the SMH date back to 1850s and were generally very stolid and conservative newspapers until the 1980s.

The golden days of The Age for me in the late 80s had its Saturday edition weighing a tonne. In different sections there was the real estate section, the employment section, the motor car section, the lighter weekend reading, the arts and literary section, and in depth reporting and investigations in its news section. You could spend most of the weekend going through The Age, and in some ways back then, the Murdoch paper, The Australian wasn't half bad either if you overlooked some of the extreme right wingers. Fairfax Press, The Age and The SMH, exposed corruption at the highest levels, the criminal underworld, environmental disasters, extreme social disadvantage.......the list is long, but I have not seen much of that of late.

Fairfax press is a shadow of its former self, yet has such brilliant journalists such Kate McClymont who has taken on Sydney's underworld, crime and corruption and the highest level, and won, personally, publicly and before the courts. There are a couple of really good finger on the pulse reporters/editors in Melbourne too, who I follow on Twitter because I have such respect for them. I follow Kate, who also has a good sense of humour.

(Tip to Our ABC, snap up these first class journalists who will be in the future compromised at some point)

Kate, Clay and Adam.

 



I don't pay for much on the net, but I do pay for my subscription to the online Fairfax Press, around $25 per month.  Channel 9, the new to be owner, has shown appalling behaviour over many years even though it has employed some very talented people, but they have pretty well gone now.  The icing on the cake is that Peter Costello, a former conservative party treasurer, will be the big boss.

I am so sad. The Age educated me in so many ways, entertained me, and in spite of being a commercial newspaper with ads, never seemed biased or bought by anyone. It reported on its own dissolution without fear or favour when the paper fell from the hands of the very stupid Fairfax family.  I feel awful for the journalists who I admire and respect, but I think I will cancel my subscription and donate at least half of my subscription to The Guardian, Australia. I just won't see the local car crash stories. 

It is more important than ever that we have a thriving independent ABC, our government funded media, but 'not' at the beckon of government. 

It is a very sad day in Australia. 

PS, written off the cuff and unedited. 

14 comments:

  1. I've never read either The Age or The Australian, although I did try once after hearing several people discussing how great the content was. Waaaay to deep for me, mostly dull stuff and political things I don't understand. I don't even fully read the two weekend papers I get here, just skim the headlines and read a bit of what sounds interesting, but if a story goes on too long I usually give up on it. Seems my concentration only works for fiction novels and TV shows. No wonder I'm so bad at conversation.

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    1. River, I agree The Australian can be like that, but The Age much less so. It has changed a lot in the past decade. I too suffer from not being able to read long articles, although I certainly used to.

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  2. A paper that writes truth without bias has my vote.

    Apparently the WH has banned a CNN reporter from a WH event. 'Supposedly' for shouting questions and refusing to leave.

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    1. Sandra, what a great history the US newspaper has, but those days are gone. I saw an amusing piece about Fox News not getting the interview guest they were expecting.

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  3. I cannot comment on the Australian News but I can say that the Press in the USA both conservative and liberal are terrible. Like little children calling names, all the time. I watch local news for the area weather and things that may come up locally. But I've give up on the National News. Sad really. But gone are the days when we had real reporters with integrity.

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    1. Maribeth, local news is important to people and I will have to find a different source. But the political health of a country depends on good national reporting and that is lacking in many countries now.

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  4. Sigh. And hiss and spit. You are so very right about our need for the ABC.

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    1. EC, it sure is more important than ever.

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  5. Anonymous9:18 am

    And no more joint Fairfax Four Corners investigations into the Tax Office or the banks etc. And what about regional papers like the Newcastle Herald and Launceston Examiner? They will probably cease to exist. The joke is that commercial TV is on the way out but they refuse to recognise reality. - Ian

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    1. Ian, they might survive in electronic form. That is about the best we can expect. I never felt particularly comfortable about the joint investigations, on the part of one being a commercial organisation and one not. However, they certainly cracked some big nuts between them.

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  6. Our local paper here is a shadow of its former self and its former self was never really that great to begin with.

    I mean take for example car accidents which require a crash investigation. If I were a journalist I would want to update people once the investigations team had completed their work on what actually happened and that info would be available to a journalist should they require it, but our paper only ever reported on the initial accident and then we never heard another word.

    I think I learned a long time ago when the few areas I was fairly well educated on were not reported very accurately that for a lot of the journalists it was all about quick stories, not correct information. It is a shame.

    So that is why I have never paid for a story or access to any paper, and why I likely never will. :/

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    1. Snoskred, that happens with so many things in the media, that is, never any follow up. People would be interested to read or hear about these things.

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  7. Andrew Bolt has been advertising himself on tv this week, about once every half hour *shudder*. I wonder what he has planned :(

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    1. He is a scary man who cleverly uses figures and statistics to lie.

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