Fairfax Media has a vast audience reach of 16.3 million. That means that 16.3 million people will be informed of the same ideologies, beliefs and perspectives presented by Fairfax. Fairfax usually tends to lean left in the stories they deem newsworthy.
Their assets include:
- Sydney Morning Herald
- The Age
- Australian Financial Review
- The Land
- Illawarra Mercury
in New Zealand;
- The Dominion Post
- The Press
- The Sunday Star-Times
- TV Guide
- NZ House and Garden
- New Zealand Fishing News
Fairfax’s audience has been in decline recently, many cancelling subscriptions to the print versions of their local Fairfax tabloids, due to beliefs of growing political bias and predictability of its content. An opinion piece written by columnist Chris Mitchell alleges that a senior writer at Fairfax commented on the issue:
“… every editorial decision appears to be driven by cost management and opaque, short-term financial targets rather than any attempts to fabricate a better media business… Fairfax has lost the opportunity to be relevant to any of its audiences, mainstream or otherwise.”
One commenter on the article, under the name Coupe, alleges:
“Fairfax’s demise was and is largely of its own making. Having long ago forsaken any objectivity or balance among its staff roster or editorial board, it embraced a fashionable undergraduate and soft-left progressive liberal stance on almost all things, eventually narrowing its commentary to a high rotation monologue on a handful of topics that it flogs to death [like] same sex marriage, climate change, gender identity and equity [and] asylum seekers. So uniformly orthodox are the views presented that little advancement has ever been made toward having a robust ‘conversation’ or ‘debate’. No alternative viewpoint has ever been countenanced or published. Their dogma presented as journalism more closely reflects the ideological leanings of the newsroom rather than paying subscribers and is reflected in their poor sales and declining readership.”
Polarizing newspapers with stories that only lean to one bias alienates people of a different opinion in the community, making it much less likely for them to pick up a newspaper full of ideologies they do not agree with. Shouldn’t we be taking bias out of the news and putting it in opinion columns?
This makes me feel like I can’t entirely trust what I am reading when I read any Fairfax tabloid. The solution to this is to pick up a right-wing tabloid, like The Australian, to ensure I have the other side of the story as well, but how many people would bother or have the time to do that? This is going to be a continuing problem in this age, with many failing to research the messages they are presented with, taking what they read at face value.