Dr Mumbo

AAP becomes Fairfax’s most prolific writer in strike edition as Age breaks its own embargo

PaperDr Mumbo is always interested to see which senior newspaper executives are dragged to the coalface and forced to tackle a keyboard rather than a calculator when journos strike.

This week’s wildcat strike after 120 redundancies were announced at Fairfax saw Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald and Age thump (well perhaps float) onto doorsteps with SMH and Sun Herald editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir and Age senior editor Mark Hawthorne teaming to write the splash on the Senate deal.

Hawthorne was a busy man with his hand in three stories, but the two standout performers were AAP and Anon which across news and sport managed to contribute at least 24 stories between them.

The AFR and, by virtue of the relationship, The AGE and SMH business sections, fared slightly better thanks to the contracts many of the AFR journos work under and there were plenty of bylines across the Fin and its metro business siblings.

Business Day Editor of the SMH and Age Mathew Dunckley drew the short straw writing the story on the strikes that had pressed Mahogany Row into service.

While there appeared to be a wealth of journalistic experience bashing out yarns for print and online, it appears one basic rule of the game got lost in the chaos – abiding by embargoes.

Fairfax was delighted that Adele Ferguson was named Journalist of the Year at the Melbourne Quill Awards and had the story up online an hour before the winner herself had been told  – prompting academic Margaret Simons to tweet her anger at the stuff up.


Sadly though, Dr Mumbo notes the absence of one byline – that of former journo-turned-Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood.

Back in the heady strike-riven days of the 1970s, one Rupert Murdoch would roll up his sleeves and get stuck in.

Perhaps Greg is working on tomorrow’s Sunday editions…




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