Last Ones Standing

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Advertising, Business Models, Fairfax, Media Business, Profession, Staffing and Resources, Technology

The slow-motion death of newspapers as a vehicle for quality journalism rolls on, with periodic announcements of new waves of redundancies prompting anger, soul-searching and recrimination. For those of us who escaped the industry years ago, there are feelings of both relief that we got out when we did and sympathy for journalists laid off by companies who still appear clueless about how to make the business work in […]

His Master’s Voice

Posted 32 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, News Corp, Profession, Social Media

A common defence of Rupert Murdoch’s overwhelming dominance of the Australian media is that it reflects market forces. His papers account for 60%-70% of newspaper sales because they are popular, goes this line. A second defence is that the multiplicity of new platforms for news and information and the proliferation of blogs make Murdoch’s stranglehold over traditional media, particularly newspapers, less of an issue for democracy.

Media House of Cards

Posted 4 CommentsPosted in Broadcasting, Digital Media, Government Policy and Regulation, Media Business, Pay Television, Political News, Television

Proponents for the dismantling of media ownership laws rightly make the point that in age where everyone can publish across multiple platforms it is anachronistic to maintain regulations designed for a different age. But if we are going to deregulate, why not go the whole hog? Discussion about Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s proposals to dismantle specific laws for specific media platforms overlook another consequence of new technology: While consumers […]

Happy News

Posted 11 CommentsPosted in Broadcasting, Experimental Formats, Media Business

A rich vein of work in journalism studies is that existing norms and narrative functions of the craft are seen as obsolete by a new generation of media-savvy digital natives. This funky crew wants performers who mash up satire, news & popular culture and break the fourth wall between medium and audience. It’s an exciting idea and one that draws as its inspiration successful US news/comedy/satire  hybrids like Jon Stewart’s […]

Old Empires New Legacies

Posted 15 CommentsPosted in Books, Fairfax, Media Business, Newspapers, Profession

Journalism isn’t like any other business. And that’s because journalism isn’t a business at all.  The great newspaper empires now being dismantled in Australia and elsewhere were actually advertising businesses supporting cultural institutions. Industrial era journalism was a craft subsidised by the advertising. When advertising separated from the newspapers, the journalism lost its subsidy. Now, companies like Fairfax Media are seeking to put a market value on journalism itself. […]

Reinventing Journalism

Posted 3 CommentsPosted in Blogging, Entrepreneurial Journalism, Media Business, New Media, Staffing and Resources

It is a painful time for many journalists. Cast aside from the failing industry that used to provide them with a secure living, they are confused, frustrated and in some cases downright angry that society no longer seems to put a dollar value on the skills they worked so hard to perfect. That the wounds of mass redundancies are still raw was rammed home to me last week when […]

Shrink Wrapped

Posted 8 CommentsPosted in Fairfax, Media Business, New Media, Newspapers

“Buy a slice of history!’ The Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age flooded the streets with old fashioned paper boys and girls recently to exploit the novelty of these long established broadsheets making the transition to tabloid (‘compact’ in Fairfax-speak). “The compact print edition launch is a significant moment in the history of Fairfax Media, enabling readers to engage with both mastheads in a more user-friendly print format,” the […]

Dawn of the Dead

Posted 18 CommentsPosted in Business Models, Digital Media, Media Business, Newspapers, Public Interest, Staffing and Resources

Breaking news: The news business isn’t dead. But that’s not because the news business was ever alive on its own terms. It’s because news was never a business. In fact, the idea that you can make a living out of news is a dream that many people have yet to wake up from. Journalists leaving the industry – and there are hordes right now walking the streets like extras […]

Down to the Crossroads

Posted 7 CommentsPosted in Books, Entrepreneurial Journalism, PR and Communications, Profession, Public Interest

Hundreds of young people in Australia enter communication degrees each year in anticipation of securing jobs in journalism that no longer exist. How must that make a journalism educator like Margaret Simons feel? Well, not as depressed as you might think. In fact, as the title of her new book attests (‘Journalism at the Crossroads: Crisis and Opportunity for the Press‘), Simons – the director of the Centre for […]

Burying the Lead

Posted 7 CommentsPosted in Business Models, Government Policy and Regulation, Media Business, New Media, Newspapers, Technology

Much of the discussion around the future of mainstream media journalism is about money. Who’s going to pay the journos’ salaries? What’s a viable business model? Will the revenue generated by the erection of paywalls be sufficient to make up for the loss of audiences? ABC Radio’s Saturday Extra took that angle recently, in an item entitled ‘Newspapers and the Media of the Future’. Norman Swan, standing in for […]