Online revolution changed Australia’s media game

Shortly after Fred Hilmer was made chief executive of Fairfax in 1999 — an achievement made all the more remarkable by the fact Hilmer was not a big reader of newspapers — he kicked off a testing and sometimes fractious decade in the media industry by describing journalists as “content providers” and The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age as “advertising platforms”.Hilmer’s choice of words was not popular. Fairfax’s newsrooms derided it as evidence Hilmer was better suited to writing management textbooks (something he eventually did) than running a company that was meant to be built on a foundation of quality journalism.

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