Vale Fairfax (at least on paper)?


It looks like the internet is on its way to claiming its first significant paper-based newspaper victim in Australia. Fairfax looks likes it is in its hard-copy death throes and will be ‘on-line only’ sooner rather than later. But it will not be the first newspaper death, as this site chronicles for the US.

Of course, this is unlikely to be the end of Fairfax and the stock market reaction suggests that shareholders view the paper-based model as a drag on profits, not a source of profits.

At noon, shares were 4.8 cents, or 7.8 per cent, higher at 65 cents.

The Age, the SMH and the AFR will continue in a digital form. There may even be one portal for all three publications.

It will be interesting to see if the movement to on-line changes the nature of competition in newspapers. On line additions do not need to sell themselves through screaming headlines that are noticed in passing. They are downloaded on a tablet or other computer automatically to subscribers. With tablet computers they can be more easily accessed during the day and readers can ‘catch up’ with stories in a spare moment. So (hopefully) the move on-line will lead to an increase in more thoughtful journalism. Mind you, looking at the stories that my children read on line, this could be complete wishful thinking on my part!

3 Responses to "Vale Fairfax (at least on paper)?"
  1. The rise in the share price may be due to buying by Gina Rinehart, and the possibility of a takeover.

  2. Possible as she came out publicly today stating that she has 18.7% (so a takeover offer is possible as she is at the limit that she can purchase without a formal offer. Or she may just sit on this!).

  3. A definite sadness with these events. Despite its faults I think the Fairfax Press – particularly the SMH – the best in the country. The thought that Gina Rinehart may have a controlling interest in this – and may delivery a regular serve of Andrew Bolt shock-jock journalism as Fairfax’s main course.

    Australia has almost all of its print media (and the electronic versions of such) controlled by Newscorp and Fairfax. Its a scary prospect.

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