Stuck in the past. Don’t you just love the plucky editors of The Australian and The Australian Financial Review presenting a “United front to face digital future” as the page 2 puff piece in the Weekend Oz was headlined, while the digital future is rushing past them at a rate of knots (once again)? Our dynamic duo, Michael Stutchbury of the AFR and Chris Mitchell of the Oz, are combining in a National Reform Summit on August 26. Now both papers are going to combine to warn us about any number of pet issues, including productivity, wages, tax, industrial relations, jobs and of course the rapid change being wrought by the digital world. But as they posed for handshakes at the Oz’s Sydney HQ, Netflix's shares soared to record highs and past the value of General Motors, and then on Friday night, shares in Google (News Corp’s hated adversary) jumped 16.3%, or US$65 billion, to almost US$470 billion, second only to that other tech giant, Apple (over US$750 billion). In fact that US$65 billion rise in Google’s market value was around eight times the value of News Corp, and nearly 30 times the market value of Fairfax. Both papers spent years resisting the digital future as promised by the likes of Google, Facebook and Apple (they have done their best to shut it out so far as their readers are concerned). -- Glenn Dyer
Tax reform just talk. There was the AFR and the Oz reporting that Joe Hockey had found another magic pudding and wanted to offer tax cuts at the 2016 federal election (and both papers showed no interest in wondering what the economy might be like next year). And then there was the 15% GST rate competition between Mike Baird, the NSW Premier who gave the News Corp-owned Oz another "scoop" in an article. Perhaps he had a talk to all those actor/voters on the Sydney train he was on in a News Corp ad for the Sydney Daily Telegraph last year? But over at Fairfax Media’s The Sydney Morning Herald there was a rival 15% GST bid -- from the accountants who presented a far better structured argument for a 50% rise in the tax than did Baird and the Oz.