Freebie afternoon commuter newspaper MX finishes its run today after 14 years of publishing in Melbourne (and shorter runs in Brisbane and Sydney).
Melbourne Express was its awkward morning competitor for a short time in 2001 — it was never going to last because morning distribution is so difficult. That brand name lives on in The Age’s morning updates.
Some may mock MX for being overly filled with show-biz news and lifestyle stories, but for years it had a good team of local reporters, and their focus on public transport-using readers meant they always gave the PTUA a good run, often on the front page. It was a great way to reach a key demographic… for advertisers too, of course.
Here are some of the more (for me) memorable stories:
23/5/2011: When the PTUA’s “Problem Of The Day” poked holes in the new tram network map, MX went Full Tabloid on it:
2/6/2011: And this one, critiquing in detail the screens at Southern Cross Station:
Alas, their coverage of local news changed somewhat earlier this year when MX had a revamp. Recently there’s been little local content in it; indeed it appears much of the paper has been a generic Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane production.
MX of course had other uses. Some would get it every day just for the crosswords. You could wave it angrily at cars that failed to stop at zebra crossings. You could use it to cover that horrible-looking stuff on the train seat.
Litter could be a problem on evening trains, though MX probably helped the push for recycle bins to be installed at suburban stations. (And litter on trains is unlikely to just vanish when MX is gone.)
Perhaps with the recent proliferation of smart phones (iPhones were still six years away when MX launched) it’s not surprising it’s wrapping up.
It’s hard to break news if you go to press at midday for distribution to people at 4-5pm when many of your readers will have seen the same stories at lunchtime on their phones and computers.
Notably, News Corporation has been advertising news.com.au heavily around public transport recently.
So long MX, it’s been nice knowing you.
And to all the journos there I dealt with over the years, past and present: Erin, Hanna, Inga, Lachlan, Maria, Michelle, Nadia, Rebecca and any I might have forgotten (and/or not saved in my phone!) — thank you and good luck!
- ABC: Commuter newspaper mX bids farewell with final editions in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne
- Brisbane Times: Mourning the demise of mX
- Mumbrella: The mX closure will leave a big hole for those wanting to share ideas to a mass audience
— Daniel Bowen (@danielbowen) June 12, 2015