Farewell Leslie Nassar

Nicholas Pavlovski writes: Re. “Razer: vale Leslie Nassar, engineering genius and champion shit-stirrer” (yesterday). I’m rekt. He just did that fantastic one about the shotgun last week, too. Only hope 100 just as good or better rise to replace him. God knows, we need them.

On The Oz

David Hardie writes: Re. “How Chris Mitchell dragged The Australian to the right” (yesterday). In her article Myriam Robin gives an accurate account of “how” but also talks in part about the “why” of this move. However, it ignores a major part of the equation: the commercial reality of running newspaper. If a newspaper that had been running at a loss (as The Australian is reported to have done) then shifting to a more right right-wing and conservative editorial position would give it greater access to higher advertising revenues.  After all, how many leftie socialists want to buy the latest Merc?

The other element in the business of running a modern newspaper is to eliminate the competition.  If the Australian wants to set itself up as the pre-eminent source for quality journalism then having an organisation like the ABC  that would be it’s main rival (sorry Crikey) that is giving it away would be an impediment to turning a profit. Given this it would be surprising if the Australian didn’t criticise the ABC at every available opportunity.

In the context of the wider media landscape even running at a loss is probably a suitable position.  It’s like the clothing boutique owner that will put a $5000 handbag in the window.  They may never sell it, but on the back of that they will probably have people coming in to buy the $500 handbag from the same maker that probably has more in common with the $50 knock-off that you can get off the internet but that is where the money is.

Some people may look at The Australian from an ideological perspective. But from the perspective of commercial reality it also makes a lot of sense and ideology is only a consequent of this.