The Australian Newsagency Blog (via Trevor Cook) reports on the rumour in Crikey yesterday (which I actually saw…after having lapsed my membership for a year I signed up again for the paid version, the Christmas pack was just far too good) that Fairfax is looking at launching online news sites covering states they don’t currently publish in, in particular Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.
I for one, as some one who lives in Western Australia (note I said lives in, I’ve probably got to live here for 20 years before I can call myself a local, and it’s not quite 10 years yet, so I’m still a New South Welshman) welcomes Fairfax with open arms. The state of news in this state, competition wise anyway, is pathetic. The West Australian is it. Admitedly the hard copy version of The West is actually a good read (I’m probably going to get lambasted for saying that), despite all the criticism it gets. Online however it is terrible. Actually beyond terrible. They relaunched their main site this year in response to News launching PerthNow, but it actually got worse. On the other hand, the first news site I still read every morning is Fairfax’s Sydney Morning Herald (SMH). Since launching the site in 95 Fairfax have led the way in Australia in terms of online news. It’s the best news read online in Australia, by far. News.com.au isn’t bad, but it’s not the SMH.
The Australian Newsagency Blog quotes
Fairfax Editor in Chief of Online Mike van Niekerk said as much in his presentation entitled Cashing in on Digital Success at the Beyond the Printed Word conference I attended in Vienna last month. Fairfax has optimised its sites for financial return.
They’re open with there news online, and they can make a quid out of it. I look forward to seeing what they can do in Western Australia. A full, good read of WA news mixed with national and international news (say like the SMH but with WA news at the front) is a site I will visit every, single day, and I’ll even click on the ads to support the competition.