Paralysed by its own ineptitude, Fairfax deserves to fail.

And if it does, as Crikey publisher and former Fairfax editor Eric Beecher writes today, it won’t have the global financial downturn or the rise of a free-for-all internet to blame — only itself:

“It is a dysfunctional company led by an incompetent board chaired by a former retailer, Roger Corbett, whose answer to the crisis afflicting newspapers is to sprout generalities…”

But it can’t fail. In a concentrated media market — squeezed harder by a dwindling club of proprietors over the last few years, as Crikey documented on Thursday — Fairfax’s collapse would bring down a large chunk of fundamental institutional journalism with it.

Too big to fail? Don’t you believe it — the writing is already on the wall for The Age in Melbourne. Too important to fail? Somehow, injudiciously, this rusting hulk has to be re-floated.