The Age is probably Australia's most aggressively republican newspaper, but one still published under a royalist banner. The newspaper takes the view that as our Australian Flag is doomed under a politicians' republic, we might as well shred it now.
It was interesting then to see Neil Brown's comments about the newspaper in his column in Spectator Australia (26/11)on a speech given recently by Greg Hywood, the CEO of Fairfax.
“I suppose that when your company owns what it refers to as one of the world’s great newspapers and its circulation is down to 195,000, you have to find an excuse for this decline,” he writes.He says that Mr. Hywood’s explains that readership is many times higher than circulation and, hence, more important.
In addition, Neil Brown says The Age has clearly adopted the tactic that if the product is so bad that people will not pay for it, you should just give it away, thus boosting the phantom circulation and readership numbers at the same time. “This is why you can scarcely move in Melbourne these days without having a free copy of the Age thrust at you,” he adds.
He says there is something about the Age itself that is repelling so many people and encouraging them to buy a different newspaper or none at all.
“It is not just that the Age is clearly now so left-wing, automatically alienating many people, but that it advocates a dreamy idealistic world of political correctness, refugee rights, government controls, support for every new tax that can be imagined, extreme environmentalism and anything else on the Greens’ agenda.
“Its predictability in supporting every such cause has made the paper so boring to average readers that they will not buy it and will not even read it for longer than it takes to pick up a caffe latte in Chapel Street.”He thinks that the plan to post the written output of his journalists into a dazzling array of so-called platforms, will probably not work.
“Depression, “ he says “ is just as contagious if spread through an iPhone or a newspaper. “