Oct 30, 2012

Bad times at The Fin, where business can do no wrong

The Australian Financial Review is now a paper for business, rather than about business. The consequences are becoming obvious, write Crikey's Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer.

The decline of The Australian Financial Review under Michael Stutchbury and Brett Clegg continues apace. Last week was a terrible one for what is supposed to be Australia’s economic and financial journal of record.


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6 thoughts on “Bad times at The Fin, where business can do no wrong

  1. Lwin Sein

    It’s not pro business. It’s simply indulgent. They have an editor who has been obsessed with a small number of issues for years and who seems to have some sort of hangover from student politics. And they have a CEO who simply sucks up to whomever suits (though he could do with a decent one himself). They’ve hired a bunch of hacks who are way overblown and who quite clearly have personal channels that they, er, channel. Packer is one (Chessell, who has some other connections such as Gyngell, and Ahmed. Shorten via Jennifer Hewett – note the Myanmar junket blather ex page one. Stevens: BHP. Hayes: anyone with a first class ticket). And so on.
    The evidence that it’s not pro business lies in the readership. Have a look. It’s caving in, especially at the quality end. Because it’s simply not a business newspaper.

  2. Dogs breakfast

    It’s scary isn’t it.

    “Mr Gruen …….had done us a disservice by providing “support for the alternative and distracting narrative from Prime Minister Julia Gillard that productivity is as much about management capability as industrial relations regulation”.”

    From the apparently pre-eminent business newspaper in the country, a fundamental misunderstanding of the meaning of the term ‘Productivity’.

    Of course what Mr Gruen and others have been trying to point out to AFR and any News Ltd media is that productivity is all about management capability, and peripherally if at all connected with IR legislation.

    Cutting costs by paying your employees less does not change productivity, except when it delivers the very predictable outcome of peeing off your staff, who are then much less likely to be engaged and productive.

    After 30+ years in Human Resources, our IR laws are just part of the furniture, change them as much as you like, they are still cumbersome. There has largely been nothing new since enterprise agreements. In all that time however, the dearth of management skills has stuck out like the proverbials.

    Our management class fails us much more than our political class, and that is saying something.

  3. Wombat

    Nice article. I think that the collapse of the traditional newspaper model of impartial journalism has created a situation where successful newspapers pander exclusively to their audience rather than providing objective debate, e.g. The Daily Telegraph & The Oz.

  4. Mark out West

    Isn’t it remarkable that the right is so willingly to disregard the overwhelming evidence that management are the greatest threat to this country and their supporting agencies (sycophantic press being one).
    I run a small business and while Tony and his acolytes go around scaring the b*ggery out of Joe Blow (JB), JB will not spend and looks for the cheapest option online rather than support well run Australian businesses cause Armageddon is upon us.
    BIG business will take the opportunity to hollow out the competition during these hard times by using technology to do away with jobs. (read 24 hr shopping and only limited staff through self serve). Increase the bottom line by getting rid of jobs and small business competition.

  5. Spica

    The foam-flecked Michael Stutchbury is a propagandist, not a journalist. He is a man fashioned by nature to tell whoppers for the plutocrats, and no newspaper that values its integrity would employ him.

  6. Eric Kent

    Oh yes. If only we could have Maximillian Walsh back. Max, the Patron Saint of Lunch. Or Paddy, whose memory makes Stutchbury’s arrogance dissolve to faint glow. And who could forget the thundering presence of Fred or Tony? Oh yes. Of course, those were the AFR days of the mighty Dyer.
    The AFR’s problem is that it’s run by an editor who’s trying to relive an imagined past. His idea of the big issues arises solely from his memory as a resentful IR hack. Clegg is irrelevant. His fantasy is somewhere in the Big League or power plays and corporate life.
    The awful part of all this is that there was a genuine new breed of young talent emerging at the AFR. But this petty little pack has wrecked the place in every possible way. It’s a crime, because it’s allowed the Oz to survive and possibly even to become the last one standing of the primary news organs.

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