If take-overs and mergers are what you do when you’ve run out of ideas, then the Nine-Fairfax merger makes perfect sense, because both companies seem at a loss to how to deal with the  challenges of the destruction of the 20th century advertising driven media model.

But for Australian journalism is that the deal involves doubling down on the bet that got both companies where they are today.

Traditional companies like Nine and Fairfax remain trapped in the 20th century paradigm of “mass” because mass delivers advertising. Yet as advertising has fled traditional media for the big tech platforms, each company has responded by trying to consolidate its own "mass-ness".