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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Monday, July 11, 2005

Do you want a tongue kiss with that newspaper?

Fairfax announces the purchase of online dating service, RSVP.com.au. Many overseas news organisations also own similar services though the sense of a company such as Fairfax purchasing this business is highly questionable.

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.

They're become the Dido of the newspaper world. And that's not pretty, though at least somebody still has the integrity to print a piece such as this.

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?"

5 Comments:

Blogger Iqbal Khaldun said...

Haha! Hey what's wrong with Dido? Ok, so she can only sing two chords and she's whiter than white. At least she's a reliable source of income for her record label. (Tongue firmly in cheek)

Monday, July 11, 2005 1:20:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

A regular and predictable cash-cow. Like many others we know...

Monday, July 11, 2005 1:24:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"whiter than white"? jeez, the racism at this site is scary...

hypocrites.

Monday, July 11, 2005 2:31:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The glossies (sydney & melbourne magazines, afr equivalent) are pukable. They go straight into the recycling.
This is the essence of the Hilmer era.
Still, division of labour. Murdoch has the ideology. Where do you go? Fairfax heads to life-style.
Meanwhile Gawenda continues to prattle on from the heart of the beast.
Blogdom to the rescue.
ej

Monday, July 11, 2005 7:25:00 pm  
Blogger Jozef Imrich, Esq. said...

Almost, like a marriage made in heaven.

It will be interesting to watch how naughty the dot.com offsprings will eventually turn up to be ;-)

Fairfax cracks on to RSVP

I do wonder how many duplicates or triplicate members there really are ... 601,426 Members. WOW!

Monday, July 11, 2005 7:51:00 pm  

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