The Confederation of State Theatre Companies (CAST) calls on Fairfax Media to review its decision to dramatically reduce the arts coverage and loss of experienced arts editorial staff across mastheads The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.
CAST – Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir, Bell Shakespeare, Black Swan State Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, Circus Oz, State Theatre Company of South Australia and Queensland Theatre – have collective annual audiences of over 1 million and employ over 2000 actors and creatives.
Fairfax Media over many decades has been an outstanding supporter of the arts in Australia. Independent reviews, analysis and debate has been a hallmark of its arts and culture sections, and its papers. As the journals of record for their respective cities, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald have chronicled the evolution of Australian culture for present day readers, but also for researchers and historians of the future.
Arts, culture and creative thinking is core to a smart and civilised society. With the continuing erosion of independent critical analysis, specialist coverage and reviews, we believe that Australian public life will be all the poorer.
Arts organisations have supported Fairfax as customers of its print and digital titles for decades, and we ask that Fairfax maintains its commitment to comprehensive, specialised, meaningful and entertaining arts and cultural coverage.
This letter is co-signed by the Confederation of Australian State Theatre Companies and the executive management of each organisation.