We, the undersigned, wish to draw to national attention the implication of the upcoming Fairfax consolidation of The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, and the Canberra Times book sections. This has the potential to reduce significantly the content of the three separate sections in terms of both the number of books covered and reviewers. The same review would appear in all three outlets. This will particularly impact on the Canberra Times, currently one of the best book review sections in the country, if, as seems likely, most of the reviews in future will be sourced from ‘Fairfax Central’.
This consolidation will considerably reduce divergent voice and opinion on fiction, non-fiction, and poetry books in Australia. While Fairfax has indicated that some ‘local content’ will still be included, there is no doubt that many authors and their books will no longer be reviewed. Unlike the United Kingdom and America, where there are numerous publications, Australia is not well served by alternative national literary outlets, Australian Book Review being an honourable exception.