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Hold the presses : the vision unsplendid for Australian newspapers

Montgomery, Bruce John (2009) Hold the presses : the vision unsplendid for Australian newspapers. Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

The destiny of Australian newspapers and the journalists who work for them
came into sharp focus in August 2008 when Fairfax Media announced it was
cutting five per cent of its Australian and New Zealand workforce. At the same
time it flagged it would be outsourcing some editorial production, notably the
sub-editing of non-news pages, to private contractors. Fairfax's cost-cutting
measures illustrate the extent to which the survival of some of our biggest
newspapers is threatened by the modem medium of the Internet.
This thesis synthesises and assesses the views of notable players in the news
industry on the future of Australian newspapers. Its concern is the future of the
print platform per se, not the likely structure and future output of today's
newspaper companies. It draws on interviews with practitioners and publishers,
public statements, documents and academic literature. It also seeks to determine
the status of newspaper circulation and readership in Australia relative to the
increasing size of the potential market. It examines available data on readership
and circulation and benchmarks that data against Australian population growth to
indicate audience-share and market penetration in a different light to that provided
by the conventional publications of the Audit Bureau of Circulations and Roy
Morgan Research, which report actual sales and estimated readership in absolute
rather than terms relative to the potential market. The thesis establishes that
newspapers are losing their patronage across the population at large.
In developed nations, online news and advertising that are delivered on computer
screens at home, in the workplace and on mobile devices challenge the viability
and utility of daily newspapers in their traditional form. The embrace of digitised news in its various formats heralds a third wave of technological challenges to
newspapers and to those practitioners for whom journalism is still a form of
higher calling.
Part of the response by newspapers to the challenge to their dominance has been
to create their own news websites. This thesis confirms that a successful business
model for these websites has yet to emerge, certainly not one that provides pre
1 ntemet advertising share and revenue.
This thesis breaks new ground in two areas: the real terms decline of Australian
newspaper circulation and readership; and it finds consensus, notably between
current and former Fairfax executives, that the future of Australian newspapers is
a complex equation, primarily determined by the market in which each operates
and its primary source of revenue.

Item Type: Thesis (Research Master)
Keywords: Australian newspapers, Newspaper publishing, Newspaper reading
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2009 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Available for library use only and copying in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968, as amended. Thesis (MA)--University of Tasmania, 2009. Includes bibliographical references

Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2015 03:04
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2017 06:43
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