The Age’s controversial new editor-in-chief Andrew Jaspan is enjoying a few days of R&R in Queensland but before departing last Friday he dropped a hint that he is considering giving business its own section again. The backlash from putting business inside the main section of the paper has apparently been huge and the diminuitive Englishman is now preparing the ground for a major reverse ferret.

Just because English papers bury business inside the main section doesn’t mean it works here. Jaspan seems to have underestimated the family dynamic which sees a lot of blokes taking the business and sport section of The Age to work with them each day, while the rest of the paper remains at home.

The Herald Sun is trying to capitalise on the move by boosting its own business coverage but Jaspan’s reverse ferret may happen before they get a real chance to launch thier own initiative, such as a daily business liftout.

Given that business coverage was arguably The Age’s most important point of difference over its tabloid rival, many observers are shaking their heads at how this blunder was allowed to happen. Deputy editor Simon Mann is a former business editor, so why didn’t he speak up and counsel his new boss against such a stupid move?

Surely some of these Age veterans aren’t just sitting back and waiting for Jaspan to implode?

Peter Fray

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