Not in an Age and a half

Not in an Age and a half


norman lebrecht

August 25, 2009

The Age in Melbourne has just posted a belated obituary of Geoffrey Tozer, five days after his death. It is a plodding recitation of career events, almost without incident and making no attempt to place Tozer in the context of his art and his profession. He was the foremost and most successful pianist in Australia. What is the point of buying a newspaper if it doesn’t give you that salient judgement?

In the three days since I posted the sad news of Geoffrey’s death, many hundreds of Australians – as well as others in all parts of the world – have visited this blog to learn more. Newspapers tend to moan about their industry’s parlous state. But when a famous city newspaper cannot report and comment on the death of a prominent citizen, you can see why some of them are in such trouble. I’m sorry to have to report it, but there it is.


  • David Quamby says:

    Dear Norman
    You raise an excellent point. As a Melbournian I have felt the demise of The Age (which was once a great newspaper) over the last two years and now seek whatever informed comment I can get my hands on from the various monthly magazines to fill me in: The Spectator, The Monthly, Dissent to name a few.
    Another example of the Age missing an important event was this last weekend’s news of Brazil winning the next Olympics after the UK have had their turn. I saw no mention of it in The Age and I read their online version twice a day.
    I only found out about Brazil’s victory when I read ‘The Australian’ about four days later when they had an analysis of the implications for Rio.
    I then did a search of the Age online and found a couple of small quick snippets of stories about Brazil’s victory, which only lasted online for about a couple of hours each and we are still yet to see any proper story from them about the while event (no wonder I missed it).
    My point is if they don’t have the informed person power to report on the Olympics what hope have we got of them reporting on someone like Geoffrey Tozer.
    Can you please recommend another newspaper out there in the world to read online so that we unfortunate Melbournians can get some informed local and international news rather than just hear about the latest exploits of bad boy Australian footballers like Brendan Fevola and Wayne Carey.
    David Quamby
    Melbourne, Australia