“They were careless people, Tom and Daisy — they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness … and let other people clean up the mess they had made.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, 1925

“Rinehart has become Carelessly Rich.” — Alan Kohler, Business Spectator, 19 June 2012



Eric Beecher on ABC’s Lateline, 19 June 2012:

“I wanted [the Fairfax board] to realise there was a fire in the cinema and they had to do something to put it out.”

On his report commissioned by the Fairfax board eight years ago:

“I came up with what I called a ‘potential catastrophe scenario’ for Fairfax which involved them losing 30 or 40% of their classified advertising over the next 5 years, and I argued to them that if they felt there was a 10-15% chance of the scenario occurring they should take out some insurance against that.

As it turned out my scenario was undercooked by probably half — it was twice as bad, but they did nothing.

I wanted to get the discussion going with them, or inside the boardroom, to look at some overlapping strategies, but mainly I wanted them to realise there was a fire in the cinema and they had to do something to put it out.

My point to the board was: You need to discuss this, you need to be aware of the dangers and you need to try and do things to avert those dangers because Australian journalism is at peril.

I rang the company secretary the next day to make sure that all the members of the board — a couple of them were overseas — got copies of my report, and she told me they had all been shredded.”

Eric Beecher in Crikey: ‘Corbett, the functionary, sees Fairfax die on his watch’

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“So where does ‘quality journalism’ fit? Well, it all needs to be good. Journalism is a service; it needs to serve its customers.” —  Alan Kohler

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