THE AGE OF IRRELEVANCE: Melbourne newspaper buries Cyclone Yasi horror on page five as the nation prepares for the worst

paulramadgeVEXNEWS specialises in certain types of insider news and we principally cover stories we’ve got to first or where we can offer unique insights. We don’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 what’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 don’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 they’ve ever accused a major party of doing.

In its coverage of today’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.

It’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 professionals’ 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 it’s probably kept in an Air Vice-Marshal’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 matriach’s pathetic court case, claims that dogs can sniff cancer in people’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 Age’s coverage of the cyclone, which got a little run on page five.

They really don’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 Age’s site.

And when you look at their most viewed stories, what’s on top? The cyclone. In fact it’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.

It’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?




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19 responses to “THE AGE OF IRRELEVANCE: Melbourne newspaper buries Cyclone Yasi horror on page five as the nation prepares for the worst

  1. Adrian Jackson

    Both Melbourne newspapers seemed more interested in the comeback of swimmer Ian Thorpe. As it turned out Thorpe is only planning to be a relay team member for the 100m and 200m which is hardly a momentous comeback

  2. Anonymous

    I am just shocked that The Age is still publishing.

  3. Real

    Hey Adrian, show us your military record! Pleeeaassse, the suspense of not knowing which latrine you were assigned to is too much!

  4. Organic Vegies

    Now Vex, don’t be mean. Where else would we go to Learn where to buy our organic, low carbon, ADHD free, Vegies, in a safe low nox, asbestos free art gallery, with in walking distance of a tram stop. The Age is essential reading for a whole class of irrelevant and very comfortable Melbournians. Those of us outside Melbourne find it the best read for fire lighting.

  5. Can they at least die with dignity?
    Dead already, Andrew, this sad shuffling zombie is simply waiting for its moment to fall over, kick once or twice and then crumble into dust.

  6. Adrian Jackson

    Real just provided it. Now tell us your service record.

  7. kimbo bimbo

    Send paul a and josephine c to cairns they deserve a break from state politics!

  8. anon

    The Age is a heathen newspaper. We need a reincarnation of Joh. I wrote this to the Age and they censored my comments.

    Joh was Australia’s greatest Premier. If Joh was still there no cyclone would today be wrecking havoc on the Queensland coast. There would have been no floods. Joh had a direct line to God. Gough Whitlam once called Joh a “Bible Bashing Bastard.” Whitlam got sacked soon after.

    Queensland and Australia need Joh now. He must be reincarnated.

  9. Sunday Herald-Sun cleaner

    Responsible newspapers usually report events AFTER they happen. Real reporters aren’t soothsayers.

    What part of the word report don’t you get?

  10. Sunday Herald-Sun cleaner

    Looks like The Age might have right after all. At 12.10 tonight very little in the way of disaster. Too early yet, of course, but it looks like you, Andrew, were premature in your concerns as usual.

  11. Dan Lewis


    Adrian has provided some scant information in the Faruque Ahmed thread. Basically, he went from combat training to clerk duties, before quitting without any significant achievement.

    Oh, and he attended some courses and a couple of lectures.

    As I said earlier, Adrian Jackson’s military career over a couple of decades, is about as impressive as the first two weeks of a fat, mute, blind, quadriplegic Israeli teenager’s military experience.

  12. coz

    Glad to see one news outlet not screaming about the KILLER, MONSTER cyclone!!!

  13. Anonymous

    After the Herald-Sun was blazing headlines last night of “Countdown to Catastrophe” it seems the media will be disappointed there’s not widespread carnage like they wanted.

  14. Adrian Jackson

    Danny (03 Feb 11, 00:19) It was good to be part of the operation in Malaysia in 1975 to protect the RAAF mirage squadrons at Butterworth near the end of the anti CT confrontation.

    While I was not shot at the Malaysia the Malaysian (assisted earlier by ANZUK forces) won that conflict unlike Vietnam and so many other conflict Australian has been involved in.

    If you are being shot at it usually means some Australian Government has got us into another conflict we will probably loose like Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan.

    Remember operationally the Army was not involved in any conflict between 1972-95 except for a few Majors attached to UK and US units in the First Gulf War and 1RAR in the failed Somalia deployment for a year or so under the Hawke government

    Danny, Real, Jazz etc now lets read your ADF service records.

  15. B. A. Baracus

    Yes Andrew, without the Age how would I know about the latest shenanigans of railway ticket inspectors (an Age obsession) and police using tasers and capsicum spray (another Age obsession). If Inspectors are ever equipped with tasers the Age’s collective head will explode.

  16. Fiona

    @Sunday Herald-Sun cleaner: Great to see The Age monitoring this news site.

  17. Fiona

    @Anonymous: That’s a bit of a daft thing to say (probably why you’re being anonymous). Isn’t it a little early to make statements about the extent of damage given that the storm is still going? No-one knows what the bill to repair everything will be. Nobody knows if everyone is safe. Bit daft.

  18. william ross

    can this great newspaper be accessed in new zealand…the magazine section is very cool!!

  19. Very interesting entry, I look forward to the next! Thx for share

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