Is Quality Press in Australia Crumbling?

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Barker lists the ‘rise of managerialism’ and the ‘perpetual efforts of newspapers to cut costs and staff’ as two reasons why Australian newspaper journalism is ‘crumbling’. Managerialism is a problem because newsrooms that used to be run by ex journalists who had a passion and cared about the work their journalists put to paper, are now more often than not run by managers with no experience as journalists but with experience of running a ‘business.’ Newspaper cost and staff cutting is a problem because less funds and less people are available to pursue real news stories, especially those requiring more depth and so more time, and instead papers churn out articles or rip-off stories from overseas. These reasons overlap with each other.

Barker argues that whilst newspapers still have interesting stories to read, the quality of the stories is declining. This is largely because newspapers that were once run by ex-journalists who had a passion for news and chasing interesting leads, are now led by executives concerned with churning out stories to meet deadlines and save on costs. News stories are becoming less dense and rather dull to read and I believe TV has a direct role to play in this. It doesn’t take a long time when watching prime time news on a commercial network to hear a supposed ‘news’ story about a C grade Hollywood celebrity getting checked into rehab, or a baby cub being born at the zoo. Sure, for many this is might be what they want to get out of watching Peter Overton for half an hour on a Tuesday night, but for me and many others I’m sure, It just doesn’t cut it. This push toward tabloid style news is a direct impact of the rise of managerialism. Executives would rather get a journalist to rip a story from TMZ than pay for them to peruse an interesting lead. Media companies are in a constant struggle to balance profitability with quality and unfortunately in recent times especially we have seen the former take priority....
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