Friday, August 30, 2013

Death's dowry

Archeologists must have a term for the accumulation of bright and shiny things intended to equip the departed with all the luxuries and necessities required for a comfortable afterlife. They are know as grave goods when dug up, but what they are called when the future star of Time Team's excavations still had flesh on his or her bones is anyone's guess. Death's dowry, perhaps.

Whatever the official term, The Age has added another adornment to its imminent epitaph, having just won 2013's Newspaper of The Year, which it announced on this morning's front page beneath a headline proclaiming that is Number One. In addition to being unable to report the news without bias, it seems The Age is also innumerate, as the steaming pile of its daily offerings much more closely resembles number two. 

Here is how the folks at the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers Association explained their logic (plus some incidental observations).

Fairfax Media newspaper The Age has been crowned the 90,000+ circulation Newspaper of the Year, concluding the 2013 Future Forum.

It is still selling more than 90,000! At the current rate of shrinkage, the Age   will be ineligible for this category by the end 2015. Allowing that it survives that long, of course.

The award topped off an impressive year for The Age, where it thrived under a tough climate for newspapers around the world.

The PANPA people must have been thoroughly intoxicated when that release was drafted, or have the Macquarie Dictionary people redefined "thrived" to mean the 27,000 fewer daily copies sold this year than last.

“Difficult commercial decisions were embraced with confidence by the editorial team,” judges said.

The Professor once "embraced with confidence" a firm and apparently eager woman, only to be knocked silly by her boyfriend. For the Age, substitute "reality" for the wiggly young thing's beau.

“Impressive results showed the success of always placing journalism first and foremost.

Yep, they really were on the squirt.

“The executives and all the teams at The Age deserve this to be their year.”

And it will be their year, too! Nothing boosts annual earnings so much as a big, fat, juicy redundancy cheque.

The awards ceremony topped off the 2013 Future Forum, a gathering of some of the most brilliant minds across the newspaper industry, after two days of interactive workshops, lectures and presentations.

"Brilliant minds", eh? Let's see how brilliantly those minds shine when Abbott PM ends all Federal Government advertising in Old Media rags, which will serve them right.

Centuries from now, when the Age's barrow is excavated, the PANPA trophy will suggest it went to its grave respected and beloved. As long as the undertakers don't include Fairfax's latest numbers amongst the grave goods, that is


  1. Given they handed out 72 awards in total, I wouldn't give much credence to the one The Age took home. This smacks of an organisation deliberately setup to award prizes to all who pay to become members.

    1. I think you might be confusing PANPA with the Walkleys. Although both fall into what might be described as a journalistic circle jerk. Right up there with an AFI award celebrating excellence amidst industry collapse.

    2. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.August 30, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      And bigger and better prizes to the bigger and better payers? Or is it just a matter of who you know? And how sorry they feel for you? A sort of self-help group, really. All they have left.

      One can't believe in anything these days, can one, Prof? It's reflective that I am today taking on an Irish lilt - or is that jetlagged? Time passes and how quickly the world turns. Especially on an A380.

  2. Knighted posthumously.

  3. A pox on the Age. Forget about their worthless awards. The only award I want to hear about is the Brownlow Medalfor Big Will Minson, the best and fairest ruckman in Australia.

  4. The Old and Unimproved DaveAugust 30, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    There’s a delicious irony in the Age deriding Abbott with budgie-smuggler comments when the Age itself is now pretty much a budgie-CAGE newspaper, as demonstrated by circulation figures and share-prices.

  5. This is like Marr getting that recent award for his fictional account of the Abbott punch. Just to make sure everyone knows how *serious* the issue is. And of course by getting this gong reinforces the Age is an *important* read.

    Trouble is I along with many thousands of others stopped reading it many years ago.