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Where to for quality Rugby journalism???

Discussion in 'Rugby Discussion' started by Elfster, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. Elfster Jim Clark (26)

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    Of course the answer is 'Green and Gold', but with the news from Fairfax today I fear that we may soon be seeing and reading less of the thoughtful, insightful, erudite, relevant, self-deprecating, knowledgeable and enjoyable pieces from some of our favourite Rugby journaklists: Grumbles, Fitz, Spiro and Matt.

    From a few years back when the Herald was a paper that took Rugby seriously and effectively, to today's efforts and to the new Fairfax plans, I can see the amount of Rugby coverage being diminished. Perhaps a few gems from the ARU Media Unit, the occasional view of JOC, Quade and Kurtley in the social pages, one of their League writers trying to put the game down. And if channel 9 keeps their current coverage of the game I won't even be able to read the words 'Rugby Union' in the paper's TV guide.

    The writers there may have occasionally written garbage, idiotic meaningless tripe, but they were Rugby writers and if only for the amusement, humour and pathos I will miss their often paltry, banal crap.
    Moses and Bruce Ross like this.
  2. wamberal Steve Williams (59)

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    I still subscribe to the Hurled, even though we now live in Queensland. Frankly, about all I read these days are the letters to the editor, articles by Ross Gittins and Jessica Irvine, and the Good Living section. I do the crossword, and Target.


    Do you seriously believe that Growden would be a loss? If you do, you are in a tiny minority of rugby people. He is easily the worst rugby journalist I have ever had the misfortune to occasionally speed-read, a pathetic inheritor of the glorious robes worn by the likes of Jim Webster and Phil Wilkins. Paul Cully and Georgina Robinson would be a loss, but not Growfat.

    The SMH sporting pages have steadily moved down-market over the years, in a transparent attempt to increase readership amongst the CD demographic. They know that they won't lose their AB readership, such as it is, and the only place they can attract readers is from the Terrorgraph.

    There is actually some good rugby journalism in the Oz, occasionally in the Terrorgraph, and Jim Tucker in the Courier Mail.
    exISA likes this.
  3. p.Tah John Thornett (49)

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    what is amusing is that they're going to put up a pay wall to read this drivel.
    Perhaps if we change the name of rugby to Anti-Mining tax the game may get more coverage in the Fairfax papers.
    Antony likes this.
  4. Schadenfreude John Solomon (38)

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    Genius!

    The Anti-Mining Tax Rugby Championship!

    I think we've found a sponsor!
  5. Slim 293 David Wilson (68)

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    But I couldn't support it... *boom tish*

    Sigh...
  6. redstragic Nicholas Shehadie (39)

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    I used to subscribe to Crikey but felt they took their foot of the pedal a bit once labour got in, would never pay for fairfax as they took their's off before Howard came to power, also the abc is still free and there is a tonne of other crap to read to while away the hours I am watching the blue line at work.
  7. Hugh Jarse Rocky Elsom (76)

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    Can't honestly say I will miss Grumbles, although it is never nice to see some poor bastard cast aside by management accountants to balance the books.

    With todays similar announcement from News limited, seems that journalism is in the middle of a paradigm shift. Those able to change and adapt will survive and prosper. Others will become the join Betamax, 8 track, methylated spirits gestetner copiers, fax machines and Typing Pools as icons of a bygone era.
  8. Schadenfreude John Solomon (38)

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    The change is to stop doing journalism, and instead repeat press releases and sound bites.

    It's not a good day for democracy.
  9. Groucho Greg Davis (50)

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    The Herald is a vanity project for Growden, for reasons that aren't clear.
  10. Bruce Ross Ken Catchpole (46)

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    Would that it were so, HJ. My observation across more than a few decades is that in organisational upheaval it is more usually the case that: "The turds float to the top."
    .
  11. Hugh Jarse Rocky Elsom (76)

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    Bruce,

    Were the turds not already at the top? The organisational change is just an exercise to remove opposition/potential opposition.

    "We trained hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning
    to form up into teams, we would be reorganised. I was to learn later
    in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganising;
    and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress
    while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralisation." -
    Charlton Ogburn, Jr.
    Bardon and Bruce Ross like this.
  12. liquor box Peter Fenwicke (45)

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    If any of the journalists was popular or offered something that you just had to read as part of your day they could easily set up a blog and have advertising on the blog.

    It is convenient to have a paper to read, but there is some good rugby writers doing the job, they just are not in the traditional places
  13. Elfster Jim Clark (26)

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    You forgot general ledgers in the paper/ physical form, people smoking in the office and the common 'failuer-to-return' lunches on Fridays.
  14. Moses Simon Poidevin (60)

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    Setting up a blog is easy. Putting google ads on a blog is easy. Making a living from a blog? There's a very very small minority who've cracked that nut.
  15. Gagger Nick Farr-Jones (63)

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    +1


    Sent via Tapatalk in the Cayman Isles
    Brumby Jack likes this.
  16. Gagger Nick Farr-Jones (63)

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    Seriously though,

    What we're seeing now is a major upheaval of the business behind how people get their information.

    The key piece of info to know is that as it stands, online advertising pays a fraction of advertising in print. So even if as a newspaper you convert all of your readers to online, you still get taken to the cleaners.

    While G&GR I believe can really benefit out of the upheavals, it's clear that we're not a news outlet. If you don't like reading press releases masking as news, the current developments aren't good (at least in the short-medium term)
  17. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    It will be interesting to see what sort of uptake online newspapers with paywalls have. As far as I can tell it will probably be fairly poor and news sites like the ABC will probably flourish.
  18. RedsHappy Geoff Shaw (53)

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    Gagger - many of the 'new media' news (sort of) and opinion and analysis businesses that specialise build income via subscription, online ads are icing only.

    Look at Business Spectator here in Aus. 5 years old. All digital. Good analysis and commentary and generally v good writing, not a lot of pure 'new' news. 40+ staff. Billed roughly $9m pa in principally subscription income from c.15,000 subscribers. Sold this week to News Limited for $A30m, yet with inferior unique browser metrics to both the SMH's and The Australian's Business Sections!

    Bottom line; in certain digital media sectors, you've gotta build a product(s) that people will pay to access regularly, not just hope that advertisers will pay to find the people who pay nothing. And blogs that are just humans issuing opinions with random talent and qualification levels will never make money, there's too little intellectual or insight or titillation value add.

    Finally, one of the core reasons that online advertising is lower income for the same readership is simply that print media are hugely more expensive to create and distribute than digital - you need paper, ink, expensive presses, vans, post offices, newsagents, highly perishable dead inventory, etc, none of which is required in online.

    Then you have the Huffington Post model; what did AOL pay for that all digital news and comment product? Umm - $US315m.
  19. Gagger Nick Farr-Jones (63)

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    "In certain sectors" is a key point - both the Financial Review and Business Spectator are in the bus sector and hence their subscription success - work pays for it, and as such has a high pricing sensitivity threshold. The bar is much lower for daily news or interests.

    Other models - like the Times in the UK lost masses of their user base, and still rely on online advertising, even with those subscribers.

    I'm not sure your "print advertising is worth more because of the production costs" stacks up. Surely it's about providing eyeballs and in this respect, online can even offer A/V and interactivity. I think this is just a market pricing issue, i.e. online media sold it too cheap to start with and, with masses of "competition" for hits out there, hasn't been able to make up the ground, yet.

    As someone who's bought it in the past, buying old media print space is a closed club - despite it being in the departure lounge.
    PinkRugby likes this.
  20. RedsHappy Geoff Shaw (53)

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    Gaggs, Business Spectator has many personal subscribers who pay their subscriptions themselves, their model is by no means solely 'paid by the employer'.

    Agree there's market pricing issues with digital advertising but I stand by my view that fundamental cost factors play a key role in price levels, just as they do say in TV advertising v print, etc. Delivering a standard page of digital news is just massively cheaper than pumping it out on print and physically arriving at those eyeballs.

    Remember too that people still subscribe to newspapers; it wasn't the advertising charge per se that the 'free digital' revolution dropped, it was the subscription or daily issue price that went.

    And the Huffington Post model is there - just highly original news and commentary that no one's done before in that way - what's their slogan:

    "The Internet Newspaper: News, Blogs, Video, Community"

    ....from founding in 2005 they raised c $20m to hire staff etc and fund operations, don't think they charged a cent for any form of subscription or issue price digitally and they aren't finance and business dominated in any sense....then in 6 years no less made a cool c $300m profit when they sold out.

    It all takes investment money, serious staffing, and piles of imagination and talent, but there's real money to be made in new media, it's happening all right.
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