Contrary to the stream of blogorrhoea emanating from all manner of ink-haters, newspapers do matter in people’s lives.Â When things turn to sh*t, people turn to newspapers.Â Never more so than when whole communities are erased from the map by wildfire.
And right now, it has never been more evident that when people turn to newspapers, they turn without hesitation to those that have real, human news in them.Â
We’ve just had an anonymous heads-up from someone who is clearly straddling the divide between Melbourne’s competing mastheads.
In the wake of the bushfires, the Herald Sun is turning-in mammoth sales figures that have not been seen for more than a decade, we’re told.
On Tuesday 10th February, it sold close to 600,000 copies. Tuesday is traditionally the worst day for newspaper sales everywhere in the world.
Compare and contrast with the Age, a publication labouring under the prejudices of a shrinking army of stiletto-wielding, sh*t-on-liver second stringers who can’t report accurately or honestly to save themselves.Â Viz: The Age’s disgraceful front page headline: “Now the backlash”. Genius.
Tuesday’s Age sales result: near enough to 200,000 copies, we’re told, with some confidence.Â A fair result in difficult times, but, in the biggest news week for a very long time, 200K is barely line-ball with the number of copies they sold on the same Tuesday twelve months ago. And, considering that 130,000 of their daily circulation is pre-paid home delivery copies, this sales result puts The Age’s retail sales base down there with that other top-selling niche publication, Australian Budgie Fancier.
According to our source, a fair judge of the newspaper business we suspect, “If that’s the best number the Age can do in the face of the biggest local story of myÂ lifetime, they’re officially f*cked.”