The decline of the House of Fairfax Reply

A generation of journalists took their redundancy cheques from Fairfax Media this month. The group is downsizing, abandoning its broadsheet formats and selling off its printing plants, as a result of falls in advertising revenue.

Fairfax was once Australia’s most influential media empire. From the wood paneled fourteenth floor of 235 Jones St, John Fairfax and Sons directed the nation’s highest quality newspapers, a commercial television network and a string of AM radio stations. The Fairfax building brought the commanding mastheads of Sydney Morning Herald, the Sun Herald, the Australian Financial Review and the afternoon newspaper, the Sun under the one roof for the first time. Press historian and journalist, Gavin Souter said news was being produced there even as the building was completed in 1956. More…

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Etiquette for Journalists Reply

Never throw up on the Chief of Staff’s trousers.

That’s the advice of veteran journalist and historian, Gavin Souter.

Souter joined the Sydney Morning Herald in 1947 after seeking a cadetship for more than a year. He began work in the old Herald HQ in Hunter Street ; an ornate Victorian building where “Rags” Henderson, the General Manager had his own executive lift, to carry him one floor to his wood  and marble paneled offices. More…

Technology : Editing before computers 1

Printers ink still runs in  George Richards’ veins.

George came from a family of newspapermen, with a father, Chas, an uncle Len, and a brother, Dick in the trade before him. George was a journalist in Sydney for more than half a century and in his time, he was a sub-editor, a London correspondent,  a Chief of staff, a cadet trainer and editor of Column 8 at  Fairfax newspapers. But George Richards would help change newspapers forever, introducing computer systems which would revolutionise journalism culture. More…

Sydney Journalists Club remembered 20

Sydney once boasted of one of the world’s wildest and wooliest Journalists clubs. Unique in Australia, the club owned its own city building which served as a centre for strikes, union meetings, offered literary awards, held a star studded guest speaker series and a library founded by one Australia’s leading poets and featured, lets admit it, a good deal of drinking.
Memorabilia from the Sydney club, which closed in 1997, is informing a major research project on Australian contemporary journalism history by the University of Technology Sydney.

Club members included a who’s who of Australian journalism, as well as movie stars like the iconic Chips Rafferty and Academy Award winner, Peter Finch and Prime Ministers, Robert Menzies and John Curtin.

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