Geoffrey Syme's statement on the ownership of "The Age" in 1927
Copy of a newspaper article from "The Age" dated 1927, regarding rumors about the alleged sale of the newspaper.

"Arrangements for the sale of "The Age" newspaper are said to have been completed. The price mentioned is in the vicinity of £800,000. For some time rumors have been in circulation regarding the proposed sale of "The Age" to the Melbourne "Herald," but it is not known defiantly whether a private syndicate has made the purchase or not.

The story prevalent in Stock Exchange circles is that the proprietors of "The Age" asked £1,000,000, but eventually compromised about £800,000 after of only £700,000 had been made.

It is believed that the new proprietors will take over the management towards the end of the year.

Every statement made in this amazing announcement is a falsehood of the blackest character, a disgrace to Australian journalism and a foul blot upon the record of every person connected with its concoction and dissemination. There is not a scintilla of truth in it from start to finish.

The ownership of "The Age" is in the hands of the trustees of the late Mr David Syme, who have not negotiated, directly or indirectly or by implication, with any living soul for its disposal. Since the month of June 1856, seventy one years ago, when the direction of "The Age" passed into the hands of the late Mr David Syme, this great newspaper has been the property of the Syme family.

It was founded as an independent, fearless, incorruptible, Liberal paper, owing allegiance to no party, faction, creed, corporation or association. Since that day "The Age has fought the battles of the people in season and out, in fair weather and in foul, its control remaining in unbroken continuity in the family of him who made it an unpurchaseable power in this young country. As far as legal machinery and human ingenuity can provide this control will continue until the end of time. "The Age" is not, and has never been for sale.

These facts are well known and easily demonstrated. Yet without the slightest attempt at verification, the paper we have named prostitutes journalism by publishing the lying rumors set out in its columns yesterday. This is stunt journalism of the meanest and most despicable character. Only, apparently by tactics of this kind are certain papers able to avid the Nemesis of liquidation. Only by desperate lying are they able to secure a temporary respite from dissolution.

We have instructed our solicitors to demand from the offending paper a complete and absolute withdrawal of the statements made. Its owners have been informed that if there be any repetition of the offence drastic legal action will be taken at once."

"The Age" building when Geoffrey Syme was Managing Editor. The two windows of his office opened onto the balcony above the front door.

Copy of the article printed in "The Age" to rebut the ownership allogations in 1927.


Copyright © 2012 Dr Veronica Condon. All rights reserved.