The Melbourne arts scene celebrated a big win earlier this week when Creative Industries Minister Martin Foley pledged an extra $115 million for a new Creative Victoria policy, promising plenty of new cultural activity for the state. But it now looks as though that activity mightn’t get the kind of major media coverage hoped for by artists and producers.

According to several industry sources, The Age is set to reduce the space devoted to arts coverage from two pages to just one in its weekday print editions. This will bring Fairfax’s Melbourne metro masthead in line with its Sydney counterpart, The Sydney Morning Herald, which already usually features a single page of arts coverage in its weekday editions. It’s not clear whether this would affect The Age’s arts content online.

Our friends at Daily Review initially heard SMH would also reduce its arts space, but arts editor Louise Rudgendyke says there are no major changes planned. While it’s no secret there are editorial efficiencies being sought at Fairfax and that everything is under review, SMH remains committed to its arts coverage, she insisted.

When asked about changes to The Age, a spokesperson for Fairfax said: “The Age and the SMH will continue to bring its newspaper readers the very best of arts coverage — via multiple dedicated arts pages, extended coverage in Spectrum, Shortlist, S and M sections, and arts news on weekends.”

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW