Last Ones Standing

Posted on 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 […]

FEIJOA Awards 2013

Posted on 14 CommentsPosted in News, Political News, Profession

What happens to media critics when the media disappears? Your blog host has lost count of the conversations he’s had this year with journalists seeking a way out of the smoking ruins of the old industrial word factories of the mainstream media. Yes, Rupert’s cartoon sheets keep pushing on, but no-one of any integrity sees them as anything other than propaganda tools for the evil empire that is News […]

Old Empires New Legacies

Posted on 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 on 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 on 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 […]

FEIJOA Awards, 2012

Posted on 32 CommentsPosted in Profession, Public Interest

Good journalists are troublemakers. They ask questions that others feel too uncomfortable to ask. They ignore the spin and seek inspiration from something other than the prefabricated fodder that forms the foundation of 90% of the PR masquerading as news that you see in the media most days. With that in mind, it gives me great pleasure to announce the second annual F.E.I.J.O.A  awards (The Failed Estate International Journalism Awards), […]

Convergence or Submergence?

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Broadcasting, Digital Media, Government Policy and Regulation, Newspapers, Political News, Technology

The history of media regulation in Australia is one of the communications bureaucracy playing a no-win game of catch-up with technology. Just as a regulatory regime is nailed down, another revolutionary distribution mechanism appears out of nowhere and rips up the floorboards again. The final report of the government’s Convergence Review is an attempt to future-proof the rules for a digital age in which standalone notions of print vs […]

Reimagining Journalism

Posted on 11 CommentsPosted in Entrepreneurial Journalism, Government Policy and Regulation, Media Business, Newspapers

If you were starting a journalistic enterprise today, what would you do? You could sink $50 million into printing, marketing and distribution, hire 30 staff  and pray that Murdoch doesn’t destroy you before your credit runs dry. No thanks. Or you could start from first principles, ask what journalism is for and go from here. For most of us who sought to make a living from this profession/craft/trade in […]

Going Analog

Posted on 3 CommentsPosted in ABC, Craft Standards, Public Broadcasting, Public Interest, Staffing and Resources

It is less than 20 years ago that the US financial news organisation I then worked for started asking journalists to put an email address at the bottom of every story. I remember snorting at the presumption that our readers were as nerdish as our tech-head editor in Washington. Move on two decades and we find journalists doing the bulk of their work over the internet – through research, […]

The Mega Perspective

Posted on 8 CommentsPosted in Books, Education, Financial journalism, Government Policy and Regulation

Good journalists still exist. It’s just that these days,with few exceptions, they tend to exist despite, rather than because of, the media organisations that employ them. One is Laura Tingle, who continues to write penetrating and original analysis of politics. Another is George Megalogenis, whose sober, measured style and grasp of historical detail make him one of the few remaining reliable chroniclers of Australian political economy (and one of the […]