I'm in London this week, and so have missed a couple of blogworthy media things from Australia.
The main one is the news that Fairfax finally launched Brisbane Times, the online news site that had been mooted for some time.
Crikey initially speculated that "Fairfax’s entry into the Brisbane market via a back-door website will only be phase one until the brand is established. Then, when the Rural Press takeover of Fairfax Media is complete, John B. Fairfax can “Trojan Horse” The Brisbane Times into full print production from Rural Press’ presses in south-east Queensland."
We'll see. It would be brave of David Kirk to take on News in south-east Queensland via print. Online is one thing, but the News Ltd machine would come out with all guns blazing at the sniff of a daily paper.
After the initial speculation on strategy coverage has settled down to critiquing the product. Mark Bahnisch writes, "The opinion content is just the Smage stuff, and indeed the venture might be more about competing with News for traffic by putting a local spin on the usual Fairfax fare, than anything more substantive".
And a friend in the communications industry in Queensland says "It's MX online. Fairfax claim 200,000 online readers of their publications south of the border as justification for this? Maybe Brisbane just doesn't have enough news even for one daily paper, and certainly not enough of the cultural/political/social substance that underpins the SMAGE. Anyway, needless to say, I'll be looking at it every hour or so and comparing the lag in event-to-news. So far, it is streets ahead of the courier mail, but that aint hard."