Threats to public interest journalism in Australia

One of the most pressing debates concerning the news media at present is whether newspapers are paying less attention to serious news than they used to, in the face of challenges from online media.

To test this, the Centre for Advancing Journalism is carrying out a comparison of coverage by Melbourne's two main daily newspapers, The Age and the Herald Sun, of two Victorian State elections - 1999 and 2010. It was in between these two elections, in 2006, that the online media began to have a large impact on the revenues of newspapers, as classified advertising migrated to online platforms in significant quantities.

Please note: This project has been reviewed and the original data set, while not sufficient to answer the original question in the form set out above, was nonetheless useful as a way of assessing trends in newspaper coverage of politics. The data have been supplied to a researcher in the Politics program, who is analysing them and will produce a report by the end of the year. At this stage we are calling it the Media Deficit project, but that might not be the name of the final report. We will make the report available as soon as it is finished.