Conversation down the memory hole

Analysing various media outlets, as done by the Converstaion:

I don’t know the author of the first disappeared link, but we’ve gone from this (highlights originally by Tim Blair):

News articles from wire service AAP comprised almost 90% of the top stories on The Age website and nearly 80% on the website of its sister publication The Sydney Morning Herald over a three-month period until March last year, a study of about 29,000 online articles found …

In the breaking news published at the top of, which also appears under “Top Stories” in the RSS feed, 87.5% of content was taken from AAP and run either unchanged or with additional material from a Fairfax reporter. At, AAP copy made up 79% of the top stories.

At each of four News Ltd sites –,, and – less than 2% of breaking news was taken from AAP, the research found.

To this (my emphases):

One of the key issues is that current online news websites contain an enormous amount of untouched AAP copy. In particular, the “Breaking News” sections are usually comprised of 80-100% AAP copy.

This means that, regardless of whether you’re reading The Age website,, or a particular News Ltd title (such as The Australian), you will be reading precisely the same copy in the Breaking News section, sometimes with an AAP byline but often running a journalist’s name (usually an AAP journo).

Not that reducing AAP copy would likely be Fairfax’s magic bullet anyway…


Oh, here it is…

Fairfax’s Sydney and Melbourne newsrooms also took the lead in republishing news agency content: 79% of the shared top and national stories were from AAP. The figure was 87.5% for News Ltd sites republished less than 2% each of AAP content during the study period.

But was the tweak, and the removal of the original link (and title), necessary? And on the same website, you have two very different analyses.

So which one is right?

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