The ‘new’ Age.

Yesterday I was ironically on my way to a job interview with a digital and print media organisation in Melbourne, when I heard the news that Fairfax had announced its plans to cut 1,900 jobs across their boards in a massive reconstructive attempt.

My instant reaction was a cringe.

Ever since I can remember holding a pen to my hand, I have thought of myself to one day be a successful journalist in a striving news community in the city. Perhaps I didn’t always see myself in the hard-news industry specifically, but I saw myself in the print news nonetheless. But yesterday’s news made me want to weep in my room for humanity, and had myself drastically fearing that perhaps I will one day wake to the world full of robots and automatons, in a land where the human brain is non-exististent.

‘The Age’ cuts 1,900 jobs to turn digital.

Indulging in a conversation with a friend on the matter last night, I was reminded by him that the Fairfax cuts are a part of the coming-of-age for the news industry; as technological-driven beings, we now expect to gain our knowledge and information in in our hands, when we want it. Who wants to walk down to the milk bar to buy a newspaper these days?

Well, actually, after hearing what I did on the train, that was exactly what I did. And I haven’t actually purchased a newspaper in hard-form in a long time. Goes without saying. I wept.

It’s no doubt that the news and media industry is transforming itself into web-based giants that feed of the revenue of pay-by-click and Google search rankings, but what is more sad is the fact that those who have the actual talent to produce proper printed work, will no longer have a job for their talents at all.

Instead, Fairfax has announced its reconstruction to take on the tabloid category and face bringing the “trash” over the hard-hitting facts. Let’s face it, if the screen in front of you offered two articles, one on the closing of hospital beds, and one on Fergie having bladder problems on stage again, I can guarantee that the Black Eyed Peas pants-wetter will win it over.

And it’s sad. It’s really, really sad.

These days, the hard-news gets about as much attention as printed news itself. As a passionate writer for print media, I have longed to see myself published in something that I can hold in my hand, and not have to stare at on a glare-filled screen. Unfortunately, though, the terms of that happening have altered drastically.

I have been forced to embrace it, and not just by the means of this blog. My jobs now consist of digital media publications and that’s fine with me…provided print news still exists. But I fear in five years time, I may actually be visiting the funeral of the National dailies (Fairfax, News Limited etc.) and I will weep for them.

An article in today’s edition of The Age (of course online), blames consumers for the 1,900 job losses and media facelift.

“The media isn’t failing because it’s not giving people what they want. We know exactly what you want, even if you don’t care to admit it. Worthy but dull reporting of landmark health legislation? Not so much. Upskirt shots of Lindsay Lohan spilling out of a limo at The Viper Room? Not just yes, but hell yes!” – John Birmingham, The Age

It’s true. Completely true. The quality of news is less expected these days, if it guarantees that disturbing images of celebrity drunken antics will be plastered over the screens, whilst people drink their coffees and amuse themselves on the train.

Just before I heard the news yesterday, I looked around the cabin of the train and observed the commuters around me; iPads, iPhones, smartphones, laptops, MacBooks and hands-free devices. None of them a newspaper. I cringe again.

It is the new Age and I’m being forced to embrace it, but as I hover my mouse over the ‘publish’ button right now, I look to the copy of The Age next to me on my desk…am I looking at one of the last?

(As published on http://www.theforeverthings.com by Cassie McBlane)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Beliefs, Morals, Business

Author:Cassie McBlane

Cassie McBlane is an established blogger, published author, passionate writer, editor and content marketing specialist.

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7 Comments on “The ‘new’ Age.”

  1. June 24, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    the power of the market has spoken. It’s normal to be sucked in by the sunk cost fallacy, but dinosaurs only have one way to go- extinction

    I think fairfax could have avoided this if the acted a lot sooner. Instead, in their hubris, they could not see a day when The Age ceased to be relevant.

    today you have seen it

    • June 24, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

      Then again, along comes a blog-opinion-news hybrid called Intentious, which actively avoids tabloid news and only reports on important issues. And BOOM. We have exploded. Why is that?

  2. Jane Lane
    June 25, 2012 at 5:26 am #

    Newspapers are dictated by advertisers therefore, it can be argued that advertisers dictate what is considered “newsworthy”. More to the point, 60 per cent of Australian newspapers content is produced by PR professionals and not journalists. It’s a lot cheaper to run PR than pay journalists to report “news”.

    Grab a copy of each states paper, flick through to the entertainment, sport and lifestyle sections and you will find the same stories are produced by the same journalists. Even the major stories don’t change much the “Adelaide Advertiser,” “Herald Sun” and “Sydney Morning Herald” stories don’t change that much, to the extend the news as become as cliche as “Today Tonight” and “A Current Affair’s” format.

    We have Fairfax and Murdoch papers one for white colour one for blue however, they both tend to produce and recycle the same stories.

    News for Lara Bingle

    It’s a bingle in slow motion

    Sydney Morning Herald‎ – 5 hours ago
    Lara Bingle, being Lara Bingle, had been woken from a deep white doona dream by Hermione Underwood, her bestie and former manager, …

    It’s a bingle in slow motion
    Sydney Morning Herald‎ – 1 day ago
    Bingle ‘a hit’ as viewers return
    Sydney Morning Herald‎ – 3 days ago

    Kerry Packer realised newspapers weren’t profitable and so he sold them and ventured into magazines. Well he kind of had to considering he was running at a loss and couldn’t afford to keep them. With the success of “The Australian’s Woman’s Weekly” (the most successful Australian magazine of all time. Discovered segmenting his magazines to practically appeal to every demographic imaginable was more lucrative thus, it’s no surprise Australia sells more magazines per capita.

    On the other hand, Murdoch realised his paper’s circulation soared when: “he immersed himself in all aspects of the papers’ daily operations. He wrote headlines, redesigned page layouts and labored in the typesetting and printing rooms. He quickly converted the News into a chronicle of crime, sex and scandal, and while these changes were controversial, the paper’s circulation soared.” – http://www.biography.com/people/rupert-murdoch-9418489

    I don’t think we are at a loss if Lara Bingle is considered newspaper newsworthy!

    • June 30, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

      Very good point Jane. The fact Being Lara Bingle is reported again and again and again stinks of advertisers paying for it to be featured. Well at least that’s what I tell myself so I don’t keep wanting to headbutt the general population who love that shit! 😉 More than ever there is a huge media hole now for actual issues and real news to be discussed freely, free of the tabloids and gossip. When Intentious stops growing in readership I’ll lose hope 🙂 until then, there are plenty out there like us who appreciate visiting a regular site where topics aren’t dictated by dollars or agenda and people are free to speak their minds 🙂

  3. Liz
    July 1, 2012 at 1:32 am #

    Very informative Jane, I never new the Packer family started their empire in newspapers. I can see why soft news/sensationalism is easier to sell.

  4. Anonymous
    July 9, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

    Never loose hope Intentious you will keep growing and growing. Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing. Intentious proves that with every quality piece they have on their site.

    Good luck always.

    Chez,Sydney.

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