Australian arts face media wipeout

Australian arts face media wipeout


norman lebrecht

May 10, 2017

The Fairfax newspaper group – which owns the Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne Age – plans to fire 125 journalists.. Among them are all arts, film and books writers, as well as the two deputy arts editors.

The journalists have gone on strike. The outlook is bleak.

Whatever settlement is finally reached there will be less arts coverage in future in the country’s two ‘civilised’ newspapers, and arts organisations will be left reliant on the mercies of the Murdoch press to attract public attention. It will be harder than ever to market new art and challenging work.

A number of Australian arts leaders have voiced a protest here. They are, however, not A-listers.

They do not include the heads of Opera Australia, the national orchestras, theatres, museums and galleries – let alone such international Australian luminaries as Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, Kylie Minogue (pictured, left), Russell Crowe, Simone Young, Clive James, Germaine Greer, Thomas Kenneally and the like.

Until the big beasts start roaring, Fairfax bosses won’t be bothered.



  • Cynical Bystander says:

    As worrying as this is I don’t understand the dig at the Murdoch press. In the UK the Times and Sunday Times provide some of the most comprehensive arts coverage amongst the ‘broadsheets’. His politics might not be to my taste but I don’t see how his media organisation here is any worse, and in some cases better, than the Telegraph, Guardian or FT. Even Sky Arts shows more effort than the TV content of the BBC.

  • Sue says:

    Good riddance to Fairfax and Sydney Morning Herald/Age!! Competing with at least 5 other major media players for exactly the same ‘audience’ is always a recipe for disaster.

  • Eric says:

    It’s a sad state of affairs. I would say that Australian Ballet are pretty big actually…