Wednesday, March 28, 2012
letter the age didn't print
This morning, I read The Age hoping to find some explanation of the hold up, which affected thousands of Melbournians both directly and indirectly. The choice was made to not countenance this incident; the only mention of Craigieburn itself came in the form of short coverage of an (entirely unrelated) violent death. Once again, the message comes through to me: the north west is not a place where Age readers might get stuck on a train, trying to get home.
Yet the Age is a Melbourne newspaper; it’s Melbourne’s newspaper of record; it’s the ‘Newspaper of the Year’. Since the early seventies – in fact, about as long as I’ve been reading it – it has espoused a cosmopolitan and intelligent outlook through which national, international, and very local news has been presented through a very Melbourne perspective. I’m not entirely sure when this became a perspective of ‘us, the inner city’ versus ‘them, who know where zone 2 begins’ but it has most definitely happened.
A boutique (that is, divisive) approach to news coverage might sell advertising in the leafy east, but the choice to cease serving all Melbourne readers is the worst future-proofing strategy I can imagine for a newspaper in 2012.