July 7

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age doomed


It would be amusing if it were not so tragic. The once great journals of record of the cities of Melbourne and Sydney are doomed.

According to a leading market analyst, Roger Colman from CCZ Equities, The Sydney Morning Herald and the Age will cease to physically exist within the next decade.  Two thirds of metropolitan journalists will need to go just to keep their employer alive.

There are two reasons for this. The first was obvious years ago. It is the disappearance of the "rivers of gold" – classified advertising -which has been lost to the Internet.. Roger Colman says this means that their earnings outlook has fallen by 90%.

…republican elites…

The second reason is that successive editors of both newspapers have gone out of their way to annoy their traditional readers by adopting the agenda  of the inner-city republican elites to which the editors obviously belong.

Eventually many subscribers cancel their subscriptions.

As part of that elite agenda they have been arguing,  for the better part of two decades, that the Australian crown is doomed and that a republic is inevitable.

The irony is that it is the newspapers which are doomed – at least in their present form.

It was not surprising then that on  The Queen's Birthday this year the Herald predictably called for a reopening of the debate on a republic.

The monarchy, the editor claimed, was of a “fading vestigial relevance” and an  “anachronism at the heart of our constitution”.  We are witnessing, he said, “a macabre constitutional death watch”.

…wrong death watch…

The death watch the editor should be paying attention to is closer to his desk.

 But he is right in one respect. He says it will be too late to raise the republican debate at the end of this reign. If he means that the chances of Australians suddenly wanting a republic then are minimal to non-existent, he is correct.

The curious thing is that the editor is surprised that the politicians won’t touch the politicians’ republic with a barge pole. This is because they have woken up to the fact that his newspaper and most of the others had led them up the garden path in 1999, telling them that a republic was inevitable.

So they jumped onto the republican bandwagon, only to be left high and dry when the people refused to follow them. As they say, "once bitten, twice shy".

It will be very said to lose the print versions of our great journals of record. But to a significant degree, both had already abdicated that role years ago when they decided to run with the agenda of the inner-city republican elites.


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