“The independence of Fairfax is the most valuable commercial asset and could be easily lost if no sufficient respect was paid to protect the freedom of journalists as reporters to report without fear or favour, and as commentators to call it as they see it. I’m not particularly keen on the idea of anybody telling me what I’m allowed to say about the mining industry."There is one of those 1900 jobs that won't need to be cut by fiat. And here, possibly, is another: Silly Readers Editrix Judy Prisk admits to a flutter in her matronly breast at being reminded of a newspaper in America whose staff voted to put it out of business rather than be saved by Rupert Murdoch.
Asked what would happen if no guarantee was forthcoming, Gittins replied: “I would have to reconsider my position.”
The story that so moved Ms Prisk is here and should be a source of comfort to all sensible Australians. It is not just our own precious luvvies who exist in that special little world where, the more people decline to buy their journalism, the louder grow their assertions of its magnificence.
Gittins and Prisk should make a nice matched pair as they clean out their desks. Some months ago, Gittins was caught cold borrowing the vast bulk of his column with, at best, oblique attribution. Having been called to account, his exoneration was then justified by Prisk.
They will look just the perfect pair marching out the door in lockstep.