Only a few months after the Fairfax name was erased from the family’s former mastheads, John B Fairfax has announced he will reinvest in the news industry with a new website for investigative journalism.
The announcement comes off the back of Nine’s takeover of the Fairfax brand in 2018.
Fairfax told the ABC this new move isn’t “personal”.
He said: “We are seeing this as an investment and it’s an interesting one, having being involved with the media myself for 50 years”.
Fairfax’s new venture will be operated by Private Media’s Crikey, spearheaded by Eric Beecher.
Beecher told the ABC that he and Fairfax were not going to “reinvent journalism”.
He said: “What we are saying is that the need and appetite for really vigorous, independent, investigative inquiry journalism is always there”.
The new investigative news site was created to a certain degree to counter concentrated media ownership in Australia.
Fairx told ABC’s 7.30: “Independent journalism is important for any democracy.
“The diversity of opinion is also important. You have to be level-headed.
He said the new news site will provide “balance we can be proud of”.
Fairfax sold his remaining shares of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review in 2011 after generations of the Fairfax family publishing the eminent Australian titles.
The merger of Nine and Fairfax was slow and complicated, polluted with leadership changes, strikes and of course, downsizing.
Fairfax said: “I have to say that when we vacated it in 2011, I had a sense of some relief, unfortunately”.
“It was disappointing, I think, to see the Fairfax name disappear.”
The new site, yet to be named, is due to launch in April this year.