Numbers can be hard — sometimes they don’t add up, no matter how hard you try. In today’s Media Diary, lacking the Markson sparkle, Darren Davidson and Jake Mitchell write that losses at the Guardian’s Australian outpost “have blown out to $14 million” in the financial year ending June 30, 2015. Losses are up $6 million on the year before, write Davidson and Mitchell: “The digital edition’s financial troubles show the value of a paywall.”

To really bring home how much trouble the colonials are in, Diary compares Guardian Australia to The Australian’s financial position. Yes, really. According to Davidson and Mitchell, the Oz “has built a profitable digital subscription and advertising business with annual revenues of $20m”. The thing is, comparing the Oz’s revenues with The Guardian’s losses isn’t a fair comparison. Revenue doesn’t equal profit, young men, and according to the News Corp financial documents published by Crikey last year, the Oz was News Corp’s worst performer in the financial year ending in 2013 – with an operating loss of $30 million. And yes, those figures are two years old, but it’s hard to believe that the Oz has been running at a profit since then.

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Peter Fray

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