Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Fairfax publishes an ill-informed crack at newsagents

Mark Fletcher
June 12th, 2018 · 13 Comments

Check out this piece published by Fairfax:

Cardigan brigade

It is pretty tough for any bricks and mortar retailer at the moment as wave after wave of online players hit our shores.

And it is not just big department stores like Myer which are losing the commercial plot.

Our newsagents are also wringing their hands at the thought of losing their own lotto bonanza to online players like Lottoland, as well as the slow migration of Tatt’s lottery to online.

Luckily for our newsagents they’ve got the hilarious Australian Newsagency Blog to help ward off the online threat.

The blog, which appears to be backed by the  Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ALNA), has some sage advice for newsagents on “ways lottery retailers could, through their actions, push back on Lottoland”.

This includes “always have the youngest person working at the lottery counter.” Make sure you provide free breath mints at the counter for staff, and “blokes should not wear cardigans or jumpers”.

CBD would like to pass on this advice to the new bosses at Myer and David Jones, they need all the advice they can get.

Here is my response, send by email to the journalist responsible:

Whither journalism?

Basic principles of journalism were ignored in the article, Cardigan Brigade, published by Fairfax yesterday.

The Australian Newsagency Blog was established by and is written solely by me. I have no affiliation with ALNA. That would be obvious from the About page on the blog and from a phone call to me, on my mobile phone number published on the blog.

In the article, Cardigan Brigade, your correspondent claims newsagents have a lotto bonanza. What is the basis for this claim? Where is the evidence? Had basic enquiries been undertaken about the income and required business costs your journalist would not have included the claim.

The blog post to which your correspondent refers includes vital context to my advice, context which you have ignored as it did not suit the narrative of your piece.

Shame on Fairfax for sloppy reporting, for misrepresenting my blog and for publishing false and misleading information about small business newsagents.

I have a question for you: what or who brought this blog post to your attention?


Category: Ethics · Newspapers · Social responsibility

13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ken Wilson // Jun 12, 2018 at 4:35 PM

    Mark, you make J Edgar Hoover look like an amateur! I don’t know how you get any work done, with interstate and overseas trips, visiting every retail store under the sun including “here’s how you sell bananas”. Here’s a journalist commenting about your content, not the failed business person, not the FW and not someone else who finds holes in your preachings and the most important part comes at the end “Who was the snitch?”


  • 2 Mark Fletcher // Jun 12, 2018 at 4:42 PM

    What a silly comment Ken. Why not focus on the bigger issue of inaccuracies? Because would rather nit-pick in your usual petty way to denigrate the blog. Pathetic.

    It is reasonable to ask who tipped Fairfax to a post. O course I did not expect them to tell me. However, I expect their editorial people to ask the journalist as the story makes Fairfax look bad.


  • 3 Graeme Day // Jun 12, 2018 at 5:02 PM

    In all I thought it was a tongue in cheek satirical comment re retailing in bad times. The columnist writing for CBD thought it amusing drew a long bow to the desperate Department stores as a bit of a laugh.

    I wouldn’t link the two as a reference of good or bad commentary just a columnist quirky sense of humour. The Lottery backing from ALNA should alert anyone that knows anything that this journalist doesn’t know anything of substance to do with this Blog what so ever. Speaks for itself.


  • 4 Ken Wilson // Jun 12, 2018 at 6:10 PM

    Mark, it doesn’t make Fairfax looks bad… NOBOBY cares except for….you!


  • 5 Steve // Jun 12, 2018 at 6:37 PM

    Isn’t CBD just one of those light reading humour and rumour columns most newspapers run in their business section? Sound like their doing what their suppose to do.

    I’ll admit anyone coming here looking for hilarious content probably has a reasonable compliant about Fake News.


  • 6 Jim // Jun 12, 2018 at 6:49 PM

    Cot. Toys. Thrown.


  • 7 Mark Fletcher // Jun 12, 2018 at 7:01 PM

    Ken, you care based on he time you invent in this place, trying to denigrate some of what I say, as you have done here.

    Steve, CBD is kinda lightweight. However facts matter. It bothers me when I see newsagents misrepresented. I’ve not published any fake news here.


  • 8 Mark Fletcher // Jun 12, 2018 at 7:32 PM

    I received a call tonight from the journalist who rote the piece. I correction will be published. Not tomorrow as that column has been put to bed. In the call we had a good discussion about why I say the term lotto bonanza is inappropriate. I appreciated the opportunity to share facts.


  • 9 Graeme Day // Jun 12, 2018 at 7:52 PM

    Churchill made the point “if i stopped to answer every dog that barked at me I would never have reached any of my goals”


  • 10 Factory Worker // Jun 12, 2018 at 8:32 PM

    Did the reporter reveal who tipped them off?


  • 11 Graeme Day // Jun 12, 2018 at 8:44 PM

    Spy versus Spy..very interesting 99! Chaos will be alerted.


  • 12 Colin // Jun 13, 2018 at 8:54 AM

    Reply could be interesting. “when in a hole, stop digging”


  • 13 Jason // Jun 14, 2018 at 12:47 PM

    It’s amusing because the article is so similar to posts here.


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