The best news Fairfax ever published: the story of its demise

The best news Fairfax ever published: the story of its demise, by Mark Latham.

Fairfax’s demise will improve our democracy, freeing Australians from the fraud of Green-Left advocacy masquerading as ‘journalism’. …

At last, the Hitler Comparison Industry can have a day off, with the Sydney Morning Herald no longer publishing headlines such as ‘Donald Trump And Adolf Hitler Have More In Common Than Slogans’ (as it did in October 2016).

Also, imagine the relief among the world’s asylum seekers. After the Tampa incident in 2001, Fairfax editors started campaigning for the abolition of offshore processing. The Rudd Government took them seriously and 2,000 boatpeople drowned, including babies and infant children. Now at least young asylum seekers have got a chance of reaching adulthood, free from Fairfax’s encouragement of people smugglers. For this alone, the end of Fairfax is a huge win for humanity. …

The mainstream “news” monopolists are heading for the dustbin of history:

Fairfax’s fate offers a glimpse of where all newspapers are headed. Public trust in journalists has collapsed, such that they now rank below used car salesmen and even politicians. Very few reporters research public policy or understand political history. They run mostly on propaganda – callow, gentrified types who take their material from the online sewer of Twitter.

Recently the editor of South Australia’s Murray Pioneer reported on the incompetence of journalism graduates applying to join his paper. In attempting quiz questions on their application form, a majority did not know the name of the Federal Treasurer or Opposition Leader. Only one could name the location of Ned Kelly’s last stand, while none could name the day on which the Melbourne Cup is run. These people have got no culture and no brains.

The quiz was not a one-off. ‘The abysmal results have been consistent (over many years) and, if anything, are slowly getting worse’, the editor wrote.

In truth, the people reading newspapers these days are smarter than the people writing in them. In the era of Facebook and Internet websites, consumers have never had so much choice and diversity of information available to them. Regulation of media ownership and content has become outdated. An open market of tens of thousands of media outlets (old and new) means that competition can sort out questions of reliability and profitability.

Instead of lifting their performance, traditional media houses such as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp have reverted to special pleading: urging governments to heavily regulate Facebook and Google.

What a sad sight they have become. The Princes of Print have morphed into Rent-Seeking Royalty.

hat-tip Stephen Neil