We can't remember another occasion where, following criticism, the AJN expended an entire page to justify itself.
But seriously, it is about time that they realised that they no longer have total domination and control on information to (and about) the Jewish community .
We now live in a world of blogs, websites and other alternatives. J-Wire seems to be picking up and becoming a more relevant. Galus Australis seems to be gaining importance. The weekly circulation of the Hamodia is growing constantly (despite the hefty $6 cover price) with much of the increase coming from the 'non-Charedi' and, surprisingly, even 'non-frum' sector. (Well maybe not really surprising, seeing that their coverage of news from Israel and the Jewish world is 3 or 4 times more comprehensive than the couple of pages that the AJN cuts and pastes from internet sites. And may we proudly add that this humble blog too, is getting thousands of hits every month (1500 this past week alone).
That a newspaper can upset so many sectors of the community is some 'achievement'. But it shows that there are deep seated problems and issues which require massive surgery and serious changes in the way the owners and management operate.
Not that we expect them to do anything. The Jewish News will continue to be the (tax loss) plaything of one rich Jew after another. And when current owner realises what little genuine respect and honour this little hobby brings him (and even less influence), you can bet on him handing over this loss-making operation to the next 'gevir' - another prosperous developer or merchant - with more dollars than sense - to take his turn riding the AJN merry-go-round.
Though it isn't a total disaster for the current owner Robert Magid. Zeddy Lawrence in his wisdom (and no doubt valuing his job or maybe even hoping for a raise) made sure to include his boss in his list of the "50 most influential Jews in Australia".
Now that's gotta be worth some of the lost big bucks and headaches that come with owning such a enterprise.
Another, rarely mentioned loudly, advantage of owning the paper is of course the clout his has when a mate or relative gets into financial or personal doo-doo. That's when the fearless voice of the community, becomes totally shtum. Shah shtill. We won't go any further about that matter at this stage, but it is special benefit that most do no have