The immediate media fallout
from today’s terror raids is that News Ltd got it right, Fairfax got it wrong.
While News has been predicting raids since John Howard rushed his security
amendments through Parliament last week, Fairfax was hosing down the likelihood
police would act early.

The Australian‘s Cameron Stewart and
Patrick Walters are plugged into the security apparatus, and their prediction
last Friday of imminent police raids was fulfilled today: While their tabloid cousin at The Courier Mail, Ian McPhedran, was providing details of the police
operation, The Age, meanwhile, was carrying bland reports of the PM
cautioning against expectations of arrests.

Which probably accurately reflects the
state of play in the newspaper environment. News is simply miles ahead of
Fairfax in reporting strategic national security issues. When was the last time
Fairfax scooped its rivals with a big spooks and spies story?

With management focused on
culling experienced journalists in preparation for a sale of the newspaper
business, expect Fairfax to continue to lag in its coverage of national
security, and politics in general.