Friday, January 02, 2009

The Age is showing its age


Although I bought it months ago, I've only just gotten around to reading Clay Shirky's book Here Comes Everybody.

One of the topics he covers, as many of us involved in the web and social media do, is the future of newspapers.

When I taught at RMIT most of the students in my classes didn't buy newspapers.

This was especially alarming given most of these young people were looking to get into the advertising business.

As we make our way into 2009 I wanted to talk to you about a newspaper that obviously hasn't come to terms with the changing nature of the news (not newspaper) business.

The Age. A Melbourne icon since 1854.

This week many people are not at work. Especially at The Age!

How do I know this?

Because of the contemp (and I don't use that word lightly) they have shown their loyal readers this week.

Every Friday The Age includes EG. A music and entertainment weekly.

Today it wasn't in my paper. However a copy of the cultural insert A2 was.

Thing is, A2 is supposed to be in the Saturday newspaper.

Sorry if this is all getting a bit confusing. I'll try and get to the point.

I spoke to my newsagent who told me the following:

The EG was included in the Thursday paper due to New Years Day.

This was also the reason that the A2 was included in Friday's paper rather than Saturday. Which means Saturday's paper is going to be pretty thin me thinks.

WTF!?

I asked the newsagent if I could have a copy of the EG. He said yes. As long as I purchased yesterday's paper!

Is this any way for a leading news outlet to operate in 2009?

I think not.