Fairfax got its papers out on time yesterday. Pity it didn’t stop to report the news … Plus other media tidbits of the day.
Stop press! Or, you know, don’t. Fairfax continues to strangle the business reporting efforts of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian Financial Review and The Age through early deadlines for news copy, except for the front pages. Yesterday’s special shareholders meeting of Nexus Energy is the latest example. The meeting was held in Melbourne to consider an offer from Seven Group Holdings to buy the company for 2 cents a share. That was overwhelmingly rejected by shareholders at the meeting, which finished around 5pm. At 7.31pm, Nexus lodged two statements with the ASX, one to inform the exchange that the company had appointed administrations, and the second to ask for trading in the shares to be suspended.
If you read the morning news stories in the SMH, Age and AFR, you won’t find a mention of the appointment of administrations, but you will in The Australian. Fairfax’s delinquency is a result of its 6pm or 6.30pm deadlines for all copy but the front pages. Further,you can blame the centralising of business reporting by Fairfax on the Sydney-based AFR. That was a cost-cutting exercise for all three papers, especially the AFR. Fairfax Media had the Nexus administrators appointed story up on its website at 9.44am — 14 hours after the filing with the ASX.
There are some late-breaking business stories that wouldn’t justify taking late copy, but one like Nexus, where one of the richest people in the country in Kerry Stokes is snubbed by shareholders in the target company? Shareholders were prepared to lose 2 cents a share (the shares traded at 1.3 cents on Tuesday before trading was halted yesterday morning ahead of the meeting) because they were angry with what they saw as a hardball, cheap offer. In doing so they delivered a bloody nose (figuratively) to Stokes and his Seven Group CEO, Don Voelte, who used to be chairman of Nexus and whose role in the deal enraged some Nexus shareholders. — Glenn Dyer
The Guardian keeps expanding. Dave Earley, The Courier Mail’s delightfully named engagement editor, is packing his bags and heading to Sydney to join Guardian Australia as a deputy audience development editor, where he’ll work with audience development editor Mary Hamilton to improve The Guardian Australia’s reach. He won’t be the only new face in the office — the operation is also looking for a news editor and another Canberra political reporter. And you can expect a bunch of new hires soon — Crikey understands new editor Emily Wilson has just returned from interviewing candidates for the Melbourne bureau. We’ll keep you posted. — Myriam Robin
The medium is the message. Suddenly the media is hot again, capable of attracting millions in venture capital money, at least in America. Sites like Upworthy, FiveThirtyEight, Vox, BuzzFeed and the newly launched Matter aren’t differentiating themselves by what they cover, but how they cover it, as this enlightening piece by Alexis C. Madrigal in The Atlantic argues:
“In a world where traditional beats may not make sense, where almost all marginal traffic growth comes from Facebook, where subscription revenue is a rumor, where business concerns demand breadth because they want scale … a big part of the industry’s response this year has been to create sites that become known by how they cover something rather than what. (With the implication: And then they can cover anything that looks viral.)”
Are publications figuring out their voices after newspapers, or is it a mark of a commercial timidness — fear of really defining what these new players are on about, treating the method as more important than the content? — Myriam Robin
Video of the day. A Canadian life insurance company has bought Melbourne’s award-winning Metro train safety campaign “dumb ways to die” and added the words “the dumbest way to die is without life insurance” …