Stop the Presses! : How Greed, Incompetence (and the Internet) Wrecked Fairfax - Ben Hills

Stop the Presses!

How Greed, Incompetence (and the Internet) Wrecked Fairfax

By: Ben Hills

Hardcover | 1 July 2014

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How has the Fairfax empire arrived at its current shabby, sorry state - and what does its demise mean for the future of independent journalism?

A decade ago Fairfax Media was one of the most powerful institutions in the country; staffed by gun reporters, funded by its 'rivers of gold', offering up high quality, fearless journalism. Since then, it has become a car wreck in slow motion. But how did it come to this? Why did one overpaid, underwhelming manager after the next fail to see the future coming - or come up with a coherent plan? Why were they fighting with each other rather than fighting to save the company? And what was happening to journalism in the meantime?

In his dramatic, no-holds-barred book, Ben Hills exposes the characters who took Fairfax to the brink of destruction - the dynastic princes, the acolytes, the self-interested, the would-be owners waiting in the wings. He tells the sometimes poignant, sometimes hilarious tales of what unfolded behind boardroom doors and at team bonding retreats. And he asks if the trail of greed and incompetence could have been avoided.

More than just another Fairfax book, Stop the Presses tackles vital issues around the death of independent media and the rise of the Internet age and asks what the price will ultimately be for democracy itself.

About the Author

Ben Hills is a Walkley Award winning Australian freelance journalist and author.

Hills was born in the UK and migrated with his family to Australia in 1959. He worked in various regional newspapers before being hired as an investigative reporter by The Age in Melbourne in 1969. He worked for The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald as a London-based foreign correspondent in the mid-1970s then as a Hong-Kong based publisher during the 1980s. Returning to Melbourne, Hills became assistant editor of the Age. He spent four years as a producer for 60 Minutes. Hills became the Fairfax Japan correspondent from 1992 to 1995 and now lives in Sydney with his wife, Japanese photographer Mayu Kanamori.