Dec 2, 2011

Journalism, Fairfax’s ‘rivers of gold’ and an inconvenient truth

Journalism is at the heart of Fairfax Media’s plans for the future, CEO Greg Hywood proclaims, and he deserves credit for doing so.

Margaret Simons

Journalist, author and director of the Centre for Advanced Journalism

Journalism is at the heart of Fairfax Media’s plans for the future, CEO Greg Hywood proclaims, and he deserves credit for doing so.

Despite the irresistible impression that he is cracking hardy in a truly difficult situation, before he took over at the head of the company, there wasn’t much of a narrative about how Fairfax planned to make it over the chasm between the old “rivers of gold” classified advertising-based business model, and the much more difficult future.

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2 thoughts on “Journalism, Fairfax’s ‘rivers of gold’ and an inconvenient truth

  1. Edward James

    Main stream media automaticly promotes itself. No surprise there. The inevidable shift to digital papers means the owners will have to wake up and get with the changes being driven by their consumers. I subscribe to Crikey because it is much better value than the Telegraph! Which like other Limited News papers is censoring itself to death on line, perhaps they do not understand refusing to accept letter / comment writers, who naturally promote the hell out of media which gives them a run is hurting market share because of the loss of word of mouth promotion. I am not really interested in reading anything which dose not encourage its readers to feed back and enguage with others. The Newcastle Herald and Illawarra Mercury are quick to publish readers coments on line. But Crikey is so good I subscribe. Edward James

  2. Neild Ed

    It’s hardly surprising that Hywood would be unfamiliar with the culture of newspapers. He spent most of his career in isolation from the action. Either in bureaux, mostly overseas it appears, or in jobs that had very little to do with the decisions that characterise the culture.
    Nolan is quite right to point to the independence of The Age editorial staff from its commerce. The staff of the day – going back to the 1970s – seem to yearn for the return of the sort of leadership and reader respect that Perkin and Davie seem to have engendered.
    Increasingly one has to wonder what sort of people have been chosen to run Fairfax. They seem to be commercially inept (what’s with the TradeMe thing?) and editorially blind (does Hywood actually think that anyone counts The Age and SMH today as outstanding editorial products and their editorial qualities to be the enduring strength of a business under siege).
    If these folk were loose in your house, you’d be locking up the silverware. A bunch of tin men.

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