(Image: Tom Red/Private Media)
(Image: Tom Red/Private Media)

Looks like we know when “celebrity journalism” finally died -- it was just last Saturday. With a Sydney Morning Herald page-one puff piece headlined “I found my princess: Rebel Wilson’s new girlfriend”, Australia’s oldest masthead marked the genre’s passing.

Now it threatens to bring the Herald crashing down with it, as the venerable masthead is struggling to get out from under the falling dead weight of gossip reporting while it still can.

It’s quickly become the best-known story in Australian journalism, shocking even the Daily Mail. SMH "Private Sydney" columnist Andrew Hornery, reckoning he had enough intel to report that actress Rebel Wilson’s new partner was a woman, emailed her for confirmation/comment. Wilson (or her team) shanked his “exclusive” with her own coming-out on Instagram. Hornery grumbling in his column about being scooped on the outing led to a social media kicking, which prompted the Herald's editor, Bevan Shields, to weigh in with a “really, folks, nothing to see here” explainer.