The death of newspapers – have we reached the tipping point?

conversation - brian

In a 2013 Monthly essay Eric Beecher warned of a looming “civic catastrophe” for Australia if the decline of newspapers continued as it had been in the preceding years. The Australian’s report on a Fairfax plan to dump print and go digital-only, as yet unimplemented but convincingly detailed in the leaked 2013 document prepared by management consultancy firm Bain & Co, suggest that such a move is, if not a certainty, highly probable in the foreseeable future.
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Australians couldn’t care less about politics? Really?

Cross In The Box - Adam Wyles, Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0

Cross In The Box, Adam Wyles, Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0

It has become accepted wisdom in public discourse that Australians are disengaged with politics. But is that really the case? Or are we more invested in our political system than we appear to be?

A poll last year noted that less than one-third of respondents had “a lot” or “some” trust in either their federal or state parliaments. The figure for the former had dropped from a relatively lofty 55% in 2011.
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Making A Murderer and the cult of factuality

Image source: Netflix

Image source: Netflix

As Netflix approaches two million subscribers in Australia, free-to-air TV execs have called on government to “ensure a level playing field for Australian media businesses”. The US-based streaming service is alleged to be at an uncompetitive advantage over the established broadcasters, which must follow regulations and legal constraints that do not apply to Netflix. That’s a fair point, and a topic for another column.
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Newspapers in decline, digital slowdown – what’s new in the news?


Newspaper image courtesy Jon S, Flickr

The most recent ABC circulation figures for Australia’s newspapers show a continuing decline in print sales across the board. That isn’t surprising, given global and national trends over the last few years. Australia was slow to join the global march downwards for newspaper sales in comparable markets such as the USA and the UK, showing some resilience until 2012 or so. But now, annual falls of up to 10 per cent are routine.
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Discover your writing passion


Massively multiplayer story game Cloud Chamber

 “If there were a prerequisite for the future successful digital creative, it would be the passion for discovery”

John Maeda

If you’ve been wondering where writing and story is heading next, how games influence culture and what it means to shape a truly interactive narrative, then STORY + is for you.
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ABC innovates into winning position


ABC managing director Mark Scott

“If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change” (Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, The Leopard)

It’s a time of challenge, change and renewal within the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). That was the message ABC managing director Mark Scott presented today to a lecture hall of QUT journalism students.
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Queensland’s hot modernist architecture shows bold city vision

Centenary Pool, Spring Hill, architect: James Birrell. James Birrell private collection

Centenary Pool, Spring Hill, architect: James Birrell. James Birrell private collection

When most people think of Brisbane architecture, they usually picture a Queenslander: high-set, timber-and-corrugated iron houses that are ideally suited to subtropical conditions. Modernism fits into that picture awkwardly, as if an intruder.
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