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Articles by Eric Beecher

As family ties break, will the rich save our newspapers?

The family is getting out of newspapers in the United States, leaving rich philanthropists to redefine what big-city newspapers are. So what will the media charitable causes in Australia do?

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Why the internet alone can’t save Fairfax

The internet has ripped revenue from media companies — and it won’t save them alone. It’s a niche medium that can’t support large-scale journalism, the Crikey chairman writes in The Monthly.

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Beecher: Corbett, the functionary, sees Fairfax die on his watch

Eight years ago, then-Fairfax chairman Dean Wills invited me to his home to ask me to think about the future of his company’s broadsheet newspapers. They didn’t listen then, and they’re not listening now.

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Beecher: media inquiry has mandate to address problems

There are three major problems confronting Australian journalism — and the good news about the media inquiry announced this week by Senator Stephen Conroy is that it contains a specific mandate to address each of them.

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Beecher: govt funding could stem loss of serious newspapers

What kind of democracy would we live in if it didn’t include the work of a thousand-or-so newspaper reporters and editors?

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Beecher: logical for government to fund media diversity

There is no democratic or economic rationale to support suggestions that News Limited should be forced to divest any of its Australian newspapers.

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Why it’s in our interest to know who really runs Australia

In the lead-up to Monday’s launch of The Power Index, a new publication led by Paul Barry, from the makers of Crikey and Private Media, publisher Eric Beecher asks why we should all care about who the powerful are and what motivates their society-affecting decisions.

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Beecher: from a burning platform, Fairfax had to take the plunge

The new leadership at Fairfax Media will attract fierce criticism over the announcement today of a recalibration of its flagship newspapers by sacking all their sub-editors. But they had to do something.

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Beecher: Fairfax is sinking; a new captain alone won’t save it

Fairfax Media is arguably the most opportunistic company in Australia. Over the past decade, it has never lost the opportunity to shoot itself in the foot or to publicly showcase its dysfunctionality.

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Beecher: dark side of journalism getting a foothold

To what extent should a journalist be prepared to compromise ethical standards in pursuit of a story?

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The Australian’s grand obsession: itself

Not only is The Australian’s entrenched narcissism deeply embarrassing, it regularly undermines the paper’s otherwise legitimate credentials as a purveyor of serious journalism.

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Beecher: Exhilarating iPad will help kill newspapers, not save them

Using the iPad to consume journalism is a thrilling experience. But, for the future of newspapers and old media, it also feels very much like a Hindenburg moment.

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Beecher: Tabloid media laughing all the way to the pub on Campbell

The latest “debate” about media and privacy, triggered by last week’s television expose of NSW Minister David Campbell leaving a gay club, is a sham conducted by people who are paid extremely well to legitimise something that is nasty and indefensible.

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Beecher: The iPad won’t save newspapers

The iPad is a wonderful device that will bring joy and utility to millions of people. But it won’t — and can’t — save the economic fate of newspapers.

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Beecher: Why Murdoch defies gravity while other owners have to play by the rules

The fact that News Corp loses a great deal of money on its flagship newspapers doesn’t necessarily mean this is not a profitable formula.

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Beecher: Kewell story the latest hit in the media’s celebrity crack fix

Without a constant supply of celebrities — the full array from actors to sports stars to politicians to wannabes — most of the popular media simply would not function, as demonstrated perfectly in the SMAge’s Good Weekend lift-out this week.

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Beecher: Bingle and the bullying media no moral crusade

The media’s appalling behaviour in the Lara Bingle saga will only serve to strengthen privacy laws.

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ABC chairman gives editorial independence a kick in the groin

With one speech, ABC chairman Maurice Newman has returned the national broadcaster to the days of having a politically interventionist board running a culture wars agenda.

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Government’s FTA TV bonus could have better spent elsewhere

Last week, without any hint or debate, the federal Government dramatically changed the settings and priorities of Australian media policy.

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Beecher: NYT to join the paywall brigade

The New York Times will introduce a charge for readers to use its website next year, heralding the most important development so far in the agonising who-will-pay-for-quality-journalism debate. The world of free journalism will never be the same.

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Sorry Mike, but your integrity counts. We need to know

Like many politicians, Mike Rann has been perfectly happy to exploit his private life when it suited him. Yet the moment there’s a hint of sex, he suddenly demands silence.

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Beecher: the choreograph of the commentariat

Synchronised indignation has been a trademark feature of the Australian media commentariat for years, writes Eric Beecher: the past week’s episode started with a stirring landmark speech about climate change by the Prime Minister at the Lowy Institute.

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This is not the time for Mark Scott to build empires

Last week’s speech by ABC managing director Mark Scott advocates the creation of an expensive new ABC global television service as “an important way of putting Australian democracy on display”. But there’s a much more important place for the ABC to do that — at home, writes Eric Beecher.

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Free Evening Standard: paywall waters muddied

Newspaper publishers everywhere will be avidly watching the London Evening Standard’s decision to drop its print paywall. Will free newspapers attract more advertisers?

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Does Fairfax need a 67-year-old grocer at the helm?

Roger Corbett is poised to become Chairman of Fairfax. Does he honestly believe he is the best person to steer Australia’s venerable newspaper publisher through the most challenging period in its history?

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