VEXNEWS specialises in certain types of insider news and we principally cover stories weâ€™ve got to first or where we can offer unique insights. We donâ€™t do full-service news, mostly because News Ltd in particular and Fairfax to a lesser extent do it well and give it away to all comers
But The Age is meant to be a major metropolitan newspaper that tells you whatâ€™s going on across the nation, obviously from a Melbourne perspective. Some think from the perspective of about twelve suburbs across the inner-city. They donâ€™t honestly admit their political leanings, which are stridently leftist at times, or at least fanatically anti-Labor and anti-Liberal with a definite sympathy for the Greens party, which is increasingly guilty of every nasty thing theyâ€™ve ever accused a major party of doing.
In its coverage of todayâ€™s very worrying cyclone in Queensland though, it is almost contemptuous. They buried it on page five as the state and nation contemplates how many will be left dead from its horror.
The News Ltd papers across the nation have not been so slack, splashing the biggest story since the floods on page one where it belonged and throwing major editorial resources at bringing us the story and the distressing stories to come.
Itâ€™s worth considering the other stories The Age deemed to be more significant than Cyclone Yasi, thought likely to devastate Carins, one of our major cities, with a storm surge that will inundate the city and 250 km/h winds that will probably cut through the place like a knife.
On page one, they ran a sports story about our favourite metrosexual swimming champion Ian Thorpe getting back in the pool, a yarn about health professionalsâ€™ registration system playing up, a little piece on Egypt and how the miners spent a lot to heavy the government to change the mining tax.
Not one of those stories approaches the Cyclone in terms of its impact on the country or even its indirect effect on the people of inner-city Melbourne who still buy the paper.
On page two, yarns about the Defence department wasting $40 million (an amount so small by their wasteful standards itâ€™s probably kept in an Air Vice-Marshalâ€™s glove-box), asylum seekers not wanting to go back to their respective hell-holes, floods pushing up interest rates, a set-piece speech by PM Gillard on the economy and productivity, on three, the Moran matriachâ€™s pathetic court case, claims that dogs can sniff cancer in peopleâ€™s bums, equal pay case for social workers and news that Nicola Roxon has made nicotine patches part of the PBS in a good move. In addition, the tennis ratings were down.
All these stories ranked above the Ageâ€™s coverage of the cyclone, which got a little run on page five.
They really donâ€™t have a clue. Irrelevant, out-of-touch elitists rare do. Those involved in editorial decisions about their print edition are clearly on a different planet, never mind country.
Their online people have more of an idea, affording it much more prominent positioning on the Ageâ€™s site.
And when you look at their most viewed stories, whatâ€™s on top? The cyclone. In fact itâ€™s on top by a factor of ten.
No wonder Editor-in-Chief Ramadge is nervously looking over his shoulder in the direction of Greg Hywood. No-one so clueless can be confident of retaining his position when a new boss arrives.
Itâ€™s time they spat out the latte and focused on what really matters as they slowly descend into the financial oblivion of life without classifieds. Can they at least die with dignity?