They closed down The Australian Literary Review today. Not enough money left in the Murdoch coffers to pay for its quality journalism any more, readers of the last edition were informed this morning.

In fact, it goes deeper than that. Over its life, The ALR was subsidised primarily not by News Limited, but by government-funded bodies like the Australia Council and the Group of Eight universities. When they withdrew their financial support, The Australian closed the doors of the ALR.

So let’s get this straight: News Limited argues vociferously against the principle of government or philanthropic funding of quality journalism, yet when government funding is withdrawn from one arm of its own quality journalism, it stops publishing it.

When the government media inquiry starts investigating the facts about who pays for quality journalism in Australia, it should look beyond the hypocrisy and rhetoric from News Limited and the editorial writers at The Oz.

Peter Fray

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