Surely the priority should be news content. To those who argue that any business must invest wisely before funding more journalists and resources, Fairfax consistently refuses to utilise such logic. With the introduction of the Sydney Magazine and Melbourne magazine, both huge money earners, long-term investment into serious journalism is never the priority. The powers-that-be at Fairfax no longer sees themselves as a news organisation, but more akin to a sinking ship. “Lifestyle” writing is the new journalism and the purchase of RSVP will contribute nothing to Fairfax’s worsening reputation as a purveyor of middle of the road newspapers with little edge, bite, originality or provocative columnists.
UPDATE: The front page of the Sydney Morning Herald online currently features this as its main article: a pregnant Britney Spears attends a movie premiere. Breaking news, indeed.
UPDATE 2: Crikey says it best: “Now we know the secret weapon in the Fairfax corporate strategy. So how long will it be before we can expect Alan Ramsey columns on “Relationships in Hothouse Canberra,” Ross Gittins analysis of “The Real Cost of Saying Goodbye,” or Paul Sheehan on “The Dating Secrets of Crazed Terrorist Lefties.” Is this what a once-great newspaper publisher in Australia has come to?”