Flat White

We warn the Tsar

20 May 2017

9:31 AM

20 May 2017

9:31 AM

If there’s been a hot topic of late in media, it’s been the future of Fairfax.

Sackings, strikes, Senate hearing evidence from CEO Greg Hywood and takeover bids have kept the fallen giant in the news.

There’s a general consensus that the company is in play. And, less strongly stated but always there, is the view that the only part that really matters is Domain. The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age? Pffft!

All Australian media buffs know the story of the September 1892 headline “The Hobart Mercury warns the Tsar”. It’s become a byword for media delusions of grandeur – or worse – failure to acknowledge your irrelevance.

Alas, those delusions, that same failure, now besets The Age, as its editorial on Friday showed.

A newspaper in Melbourne, Australia, doesn’t like the man in the White House, 16,000 kilometres away. So what?

Once it would have been noteworthy. A little pompous for a provincial title, but noteworthy. For The Age was a paper of record. Now, it has nothing of note left to say.

It’s obsessed by trivia, assembled by mindless millennials who are blown this way and that with the latest Twitter storm.

It lacks gravitas. Its opinions are by-the-by.

And to underline this fact it put the editorial front and centre on its website landing page; along with all the clickbait and lifestyle trash.

The new editorial director for The Age and its Sydney relative, James Chessell, has already warned about the papers’ obsession with the President.

The children have continued playing.

It’s on teh twitterz. Trump is bad. Lena Dunham doesn’t like him. Neither does Jimmy Fallon. See. That proves it. Didn’t you see what @hillary2020yougogirl had to say about the man?

The Age has ensured its opinions are worthless. Immature. Glib. And ill-considered.

By presenting them as yet more clickbait they trivialise them even further.

Please, someone. Buy the company – and put a once great title out of its misery.

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