I’ve never been an Age reader. My father always used to bring the Herald (an evening newspaper) home each night after work, and from the age of nine onward, I got into the habit of buying what was then called the Sun News-Pictorial (a morning newspaper) on the way to school. In 1990, they were merged into the supposedly 24 hour (ie morning and afternoon edition) Herald-Sun, which I believe no longer has an afternoon edition. (Not, aside from Business Editor Terry McCrann and the Garfield comic strip – and a relatively recently resurrected ‘In Black and White’ column – does this newspaper have much in common with the old evening Herald newspaper either, which tended to have deeper journalism than the Sun.)
So I have been reading what is now the Herald-Sun and its predecessor papers for over forty years.
One thing that has never changed is the Easter Saturday headline for the Herald-Sun. Every year, it’s Good Friday appeal for the Royal Childrens’ Hospital sets a new record of money raised.
That is a good thing – even though everyone is shut up at home and people are not rattling tins for the appeal, more money is still being raised by the people of Melbourne for our children’ hospital. Especially this year, when people are closed up at home and things look a lot darker than usual.
But I do lament the predictability and shallowness of the journalism at the Herald-Sun. I doubt that any news publication that I semi-regularly read can be as predictable as it is, except for Money Magazine.