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Crikey Says

Oct 5, 2011

Crikey says: coughing up for The ALR

They closed down The Australian Literary Review today.

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against the principle of government or philanthropic funding of quality journalism, yet when government funding is withdrawn from one arm of its own quality journalism, it stops publishing it.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.

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6 comments

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6 thoughts on “Crikey says: coughing up for The ALR

  1. Michael Harvey

    A good thing in my opinion – intelligent people who read can safely skip the AUSTRALIAN completely.

  2. paddy

    I have to say….So what?
    MUCH more important for the Australian literary scene, was the ABC closing down The Book Show.
    The ALR in the Oz occasionally had a good article or three….. But losing Ramona Koval from the national broadcaster is a MUCH greater loss.
    Time to get the priorities right Crikey. 🙁

  3. Diana Simmonds

    it is an irony that the real reason the ALR never caught on with an audience is evidenced in today’s Oz: the last ALR is tucked in it and is full, as usual, of (some) promising material turgidly writ. In the main paper itself is a short essay by David Malouf that is lucid, apposite, interesting and utterly readable. If ALR had contained more stuff like that and less of the pomp and circumstance that made it a grey sludge, it could have achieved a readership beyond the half dozen poobahs who loved stroking one another. Good riddance I say.

  4. Pete from Sydney

    the ALR was costing News a chunk of money each year Crikey, the government funding wouldn’t have covered the paper costs …didn’t notice any acknowledgement of the funds spent on the project in years gone by…much easier to abuse News which is always crikey’s go to position…

    PS didn’t notice that bastion of ‘quality journalism Fairfax sticking their hands in their pockets

  5. David Hand

    OK Crikey, we get it. You have a Murdoch Fetish.
    You can find something to negative about them every day. Some people might start calling you “the hate media”
    Go for it. You’re getting boring.
    Very boring.

  6. Michael Harvey

    Agreed Paddy – that really hurts because we are paying for the ABC, not Murdoch psychophants (sic)