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Crikey says: leaked News Corp docs reveal awful truth

Inside News Corp: exclusive leaked documents show the real state of the company: circulation, staff and profits haemorrhaging, advertisers jumping ship, the Oz a protected species. Plus: Lambie is right — a clash with China is coming. The shadowy entity devouring Sydney’s land. Keane on draconian new spy provisions. Victorian Young Labor’s feral factions. Why Muslims are boycotting SBS Insight. And the Tele’s racist gag.

The collapse of the newspaper and journalism industry is one of the least-covered stories in the mainstream Australian media. The big media companies want us to believe that there’s no real problem with journalism, that they’re in control and that they know how to fix their business models.

Today, Crikey publishes the stark truth about the news business that you’ll never read in the mainstream media —  the detailed full-year figures that disclose the rapid demise of News Corp’s Australian news business.

In a broader context, these figures reveal the unravelling of the legacy newspaper industry — the industry that still funds the bulk of Australia’s “accountability” public trust journalism that is a centrepiece of our democracy. They are a year old, but in fact in the year since, publicly released results suggest the numbers have continued their alarming decline.

Why does this matter? Isn’t this just another story of the Darwinian impact of the internet on so many industries?

No, it isn’t. This matters because large-scale accountability journalism is central to everything that underpins democracy in Australia. Without this journalism — manned by a few thousand independent reporters and editors whose wages are paid mainly by the revenues from commercial newspaper advertising — every part of our system of government and civic life will be measurably weaker.

What is revealed in the figures published by Crikey today is that unless another funding source can be found, the number of journalists and newspapers capable of being financed by commercial media will continue to spiral downward.

Let us be clear: News Corp is still profitable. But this is through its continued diversification away from its journalism assets.

Today we can see the awful truth, laid out in hundreds of pages of data: without large-scale cross-subsidisation, the commercial business model for paying for expensive journalism is over.

8
  • 1
    klewso
    Posted Wednesday, 20 August 2014 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Where are you going to find “accountability journalism” in a “That’s Entertainment” Murdochracy?

  • 2
    Electric Lardyland
    Posted Wednesday, 20 August 2014 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Awwwwww.

  • 3
    klewso
    Posted Wednesday, 20 August 2014 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    You would think this of “public interest” - and we all know how committed to “pubic interest” Limited News is.
    So why aren’t we getting it from their “horse’s mouth”?

  • 4
    rachel612
    Posted Wednesday, 20 August 2014 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    This matters because large-scale accountability journalism is central to everything that underpins democracy in Australia. Without this journalism…”

    The problem is we’ve not seen accountability journalism much from any of the big mastheads in recent years. ICAC aside (and face it, that’s because of an aggressive ICAC prosecutor as much as any media), some of the big stories have been coming from independent outlets (New Matilda etc).

    Big-brand journalism destroyed itself with clickbait a long time ago.

    I could get clickbait on Facebook or Buzzfeed if I was so inclined. Why do I need the SMH or the Australian?

  • 5
    graybul
    Posted Wednesday, 20 August 2014 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Crikey, are you saying . . We can’t live WITH the Murdoch Media . . and we can’t live WITHOUT them??

  • 6
    Posted Wednesday, 20 August 2014 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Apparently the ABC doesn’t exist. Crikey can also lose the sexism: ’ … journalism — manned by a few thousand independent reporters and editors whose wages are paid mainly by the revenues from commercial newspaper advertising … ‘.

  • 7
    CML
    Posted Thursday, 21 August 2014 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    I can’t be bothered reading anything more than this editorial, so your other half-dozen articles on Limited News are wasted on me, I’m afraid.
    Can’t wait for it to disintegrate - that biased and untruthful lot do more harm to democracy than good.
    We have lots of other reliable sources for gathering info regarding the news. ABC, while not perfect, is about 99% better than Ltd News will ever be. Then there is the Guardian with very good journalists, who write well researched articles. And lots more smaller sites on the net.
    So don’t get your knickers in a knot, Crikey! I think the demise of the Murdochracy will improve democracy in this country!!

  • 8
    AR
    Posted Friday, 22 August 2014 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Klewi - ‘horse’s mouth’ or arse makes little difference except that perhaps the former makes more noise when the shit comes out.

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