Jun 18, 2012

Ex-Fairfax editors on cuts: bold, brave, danger for democracy

Risky, long overdue and a threat to democracy: that's the verdict of former Fairfax editors on the dramatic overhaul of Fairfax's metropolitan newspapers announced this morning.

Matthew Knott

Former Crikey media reporter

Risky, long overdue and a threat to democracy: that’s the verdict of former Fairfax editors on the dramatic overhaul of Fairfax’s metropolitan newspapers announced this morning.

Michael Gawenda, a former editor-in-chief of The Age, told Crikey the decisions were sad but inevitable.

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16 thoughts on “Ex-Fairfax editors on cuts: bold, brave, danger for democracy

  1. michael r james

    Fairfax cuts 380 editorial positions and Bruce Guthrie says:
    “Time for … editorial excellence”.

    Good luck with that.

  2. mikeb

    Fairfax online paywall = bye bye from me.

  3. Pete from Sydney

    Mike enjoy reading unsubstantiated garbage then….who’s going to pay for journalism?

  4. Stuart Mackenzie

    OK. I can read the headline and the opening par, but where do any of the former editors actually say the changes are a threat to democracy? Sloppy.

  5. Ootz

    I’ll pay for news or a journalist, as long it is valid and relevant. Particularly if it gets served without supersize commercial breaks and ‘go for bust’ infotainment slop.

  6. JMNO

    The editorials in The Age are actually better than a lot of its other content. The Age also does quite well at local reportage, although Melbourne-centric. Its state political reportage is much better and more issues/policy-focussed than its Federal reportage and we get little interstate news which Fairfax should be able to do better given it has mastheads in one than one state. I agree with Mike Smith. Trendy food now appears everywhere in the paper. So many restaurant reviews. If The Age can get back to well-written, good quality reportage and investigative journalism rather than tabloid headlines and stories, they might find their stocks lifting a bit.

  7. joanjett

    SMH has been garbage for years. I stopped buying everything except the weekend edition years ago and stopped looking at its website about 2 years ago. The Gina acquisition sounded the deathknell for Saturdays, now Crikey needs to publish a larger weekender!

  8. The diving swan

    Why don’t we get to vote for the journalists who get cut? I know one football journalist father and daughter team at the Age that can be split and I’m voting for youth.

  9. Frank Campbell

    Says Mike Smith:
    “They aren’t going to be able to continue the traditional role of being a watchdog unless they get rid of most of the other stuff — all the lifestyle stuff”

    Yup. It’s one thing to dawdle through the fluffy stuff in a cafe, but would anyone pay for it online? Broadsheet lifestyle is ideal for our wood fire, but tabloid -sorry “compact”- is overdue, as Andrew Jaspan says.

    Eric Beecher’s pronouncements on the media usually suggest that the MSM is a fossil: ”Cutting toes, fingers and limbs from an antiquated journalism model doesn’t quite achieve that objective.”

    If the implication is that somehow Crikey is either economically viable or journalism, let’s be frank, shall we? Crikey is a comment site with scraps of journalism. It exists solely at the fiscal whim of Eric the Minimogul. That’s fine, but it’s really just a peripheral cut from the “antiquated” MSM. A lab mouse with an ear on its back.
    How to retain editors and journalists, that is the question.
    Media evolution is still guesswork.

  10. daly carol

    Quality and diversity in journalism in the SMH, Canberra Times; where/when????

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