News downsizes Reply

News Limited has ditched its traditional newspaper structure to meet the demands of 24/7 multiplatform journalism.

The legacy of a series of takeovers and expansions, News Limited had 19 Divisions, including The Herald and Weekly Times in Melbourne, Queensland Newspapers and Nationwide News in Sydney.
Under the new organisation, management will be reduced to five divisions with multiplatform responsibilities.

News Limited, owned by the US based News Corporation, publishes most of Australia’s major newspapers, including the Herald Sun, the Courier Mail, the Sunday Mail, the Adelaide Advertiser and the Sydney Telegraph. While Rupert Murdoch was one of the first newspaper publishers to warn against the impact of the internet, News Corporation’s attempts to diversify into new media such as My Space, have floundered. Newspapers are now a relatively minor part of international News Corporation operations which are dominated by cable television, satellite services, movies,¬† and other entertainment.

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Fairfax goes tabloid 1

Australia’s leading quality press, Fairfax newspapers,¬† have taken a big step towards becoming a virtual news group.

Fairfax Media, which published  the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Financial Review, today announced the closure of its major printing presses and dumping the traditional broadsheet format, while foreshadowing more than 1900 redundancies.

The impact of today’s announcement reflects the narrow ownership of Australia’s news media. Fairfax may be centred in only Sydney and Melbourne, but it represents a liberal alternative to the dominant Murdoch press and the government funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation. More…

Wikileaks and investigative journalism 1

“All governments lie” according to the founder of modern investigative journalism, IF Stone.

Stone had a lot in common with Wikileaks‘ Julian Assange.

In the Fifties, “Izzy” Stone broke free from mainstream press compliance with, and reliance on, systematic spin. He created his own files, cross referencing and contextualising what governments said, to help reveal what they actually did. He published the results in his own newspaper, IF Stone’s Weekly.

Wikileaks does much the same thing today assisted by the speed of computers and the reach of the internet. In both cases, these media dissidents interrogated governments’ own sources. And in both cases, this revelation of otherwise hidden government activities was claimed to be a threat to national security. Stone was branded as a communist, a fifties smear as potent as the attempt to convict Julian Assange as a gender criminal (a much more contemporary offence).

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