Good things are happening at The Age

Gay Alcorn sends an exclusive newsletter to subscribers each week. Below is an extract, you can sign up to receive her Note from the Editor here.

This will be a note about how great we are. It’s an ingrained instinct at The Age to shy away from self-promotion because of a worry that it could appear to be unseemly boasting. It’s really about a belief that if we do good work consistently it will be noticed and appreciated, which is true, but you do have to tell people about it.

First, we are hiring five trainees next year in Melbourne. The last time we hired trainees was in 2018. It would have been impossible to employ young reporters over the past two years because Age staff have been mostly working from home, and it would have been unfair to hand a trainee a laptop and tell them to start filing from their bedroom.

Our trainee program goes for a year and the successful applicants receive intense training and experience, rotating through key areas such as breaking news, sport and culture. They need people in the office with them, both formally and informally, to give advice and to absorb The Age’s culture of high standards and a commitment to ethics.

Our last lot of trainees are now wonderful contributors to The Age. Sumeyya Ilanbey and Paul Sakkal are excellent reporters on state politics, having broken significant news and explained Spring Street through smart features and analysis. Both have won awards for their journalism and Paul was named Young Journalist of The Year at the Quill awards. Michael Fowler has also covered state politics with distinction and has recently joined our city team. Charlotte Grieve is an outstanding contributor to our business team.

It is pleasing to invest in a new generation of journalists, who add such energy and new ideas, and also because in past years, media organisations were shedding jobs. We are now hiring across the newsroom to enhance our social media, podcasting and story presentation. I am expecting our new trainees to be frighteningly smart and talented, and we look forward to welcoming them. As subscribers, please share our trainee application with anyone you think might be interested.

The Age’s

readership figures were released this week. As you would know, we are focused on serving our subscribers as our first priority, but it is pleasing to know that The Age has cemented its lead as Melbourne’s most-read news masthead. Across print and online, our readership is more than 6 million, according to the Roy Morgan Total News figures. The Age now attracts over one million more readers than the Herald Sun.

We aim to be indisputably the best masthead in the country. The Age is the dominant masthead in Victoria, and our readers want local news, sport and entertainment, but they also want intelligent and probing coverage of national politics and business and of the deeper cultural issues of our times. I was especially pleased with our three-part series by well-known Melbourne writer James Button on cancel culture, a local, national and international discussion.

As Victorians emerge into the fullness of life again, we are excited about celebrating the great things about this state, including food. On Tuesday, November 30, the 100-page Good Food Guide 2022 magazine is free with The Age. It includes 350 reviews of Victoria’s best restaurants, bars and cafés. And if you miss it in the newspaper or on Today’s Paper, you can buy it from December 7 in newsagents and supermarkets for $9.95. Not a bad Christmas present.

The Good Food Guide magazine is out on Tuesday.Credit:

Finally, what a year it has been. I always look forward to Good Weekend’s annual list of the Australians who changed the game this year – doing the right thing often from left field. The people who achieved extraordinary things, changed the debate, made us laugh or cry and inspired us. There are 16 categories this year and what struck Good Weekend editors is how many of the notables were 20- and 30-somethings, from Grace Tame and Brittany Higgins to the Olympians who distracted us with feats of human excellence during a time when we needed to be reminded of what people can achieve. The special edition of Good Weekend is published in The Age on Saturday.

I could go on, but will stop there. Your subscription helps The Age be as good as we are, and to get better. Thank you for your support.

Gay Alcorn sends an exclusive newsletter to subscribers each week. Sign up to receive her Note from the Editor here.

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