The email referred to by Crikey is an internal Age email from May 2007. The email canvasses a range of options regarding sections and subscriptions. After internal discussion these options were ruled out at the time. The Education section of the Age remains in the main book to this day.

It is important to reinforce this point — suggestions were raised, debate followed, but the suggestions were rejected..  They were considered inappropriate by senior management, including the department leaders at that time.

The Education sector is important to The Age, and is important as a large employer throughout Victoria.

We sell papers to individual subscribers in the education sector – lecturers, students and others. They are a important part of the Age’s demographic. We also sell papers to schools separately.

Of course, we sell individual subscription to various sectors in the community and service their reading needs through the content of the paper.  This  includes paid subscriptions to teachers, education professionals, university staff, and students.  They are all an important part of the community; we support their reading needs just as we support the needs of business professionals, sports enthusiasts, political enthusiasts and mums and dads.

We also support schools with a comprehensive education program aimed at developing students of awareness of issues that affect our community. These papers are paid for by schools and are not individual subscriptions. These sales are reflected in our audited circulation figures under the ‘education’ channel and represent less than 0.4% of total circulation at June 2010, as per the Australian Bureau of Circulation (ABC) audit rules.

I have full confidence in the integrity of The Age‘s subscription practices.

At all times, The Age‘s procedures adhere to the rules set down by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.  These are open, transparent and independently audited.

The publication of the internal email without the information set out above would be misleading to readers and we therefore believe that any publication in informed by this statement.