the age
(Image: AAP/Mal Fairclough)

The resignation of The Age editor Alex Lavelle yesterday rips another layer off the emerging crisis within Nine’s mastheads driven by a perception that the 18-month-old new management is hurrying the metro papers to the right.

The company’s mastheads now seem positioned like The Australian about 20 years ago: lots of good journalism boxed in by an increasingly pre-set editorial line. The Australian today shows where that journey ends -- with the journalism overwhelmed by culture wars and party political imperatives.

As always when editors leave from one of the country’s great papers like The Age, there’s a simple question: jumped or pushed? Either way, Lavelle’s departure and the brief 15-minute explanation given from the (currently WFH virtual) newsroom by Lavelle’s Sydney-based boss, James Chessell, has to be read in context.