In May 2015 publisher News Corp decided to shut down the free ‘mX’ newspaper after years of falling circulation. Targeted at commuters in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane – the newspaper had for years had saved money by sharing content between the three markets, with only slight modifications appearing in each local edition.
The letters page was the most common place to find city-specific references – you’ll only find V/Line in Victoria.
You won’t find myki outside of Melbourne either.
This side by side comparison of the Melbourne and Sydney editions of mX illustrates the slight page layout changes that result from the different selection of letters per edition.
On occasion the reuse of content in mX also stretched to the graphics – this photoshopped train had “Flinders Street” text added in the Melbourne edition, but “Wynyard” in the Sydney edition.
Plus the photo is of a Melbourne train.
At times ambiguous locations tripped up the editor – there are ‘Central’ stations in both Sydney and Brisbane, as well as a ‘Melbourne Central’ station down south.
Both Melbourne and Sydney have a suburb called Epping with a railway station, but only one city has a ‘M54′ bus route serving it.
Route M54 is a ‘Metrobus’ route operated by Sydney Buses
There isn’t a Meadowbank in Victoria, so this letter in the Melbourne edition was another slipup.
Occasionally the news section would also trip up on a state-specifc reference – this article about scholarships from the NSW based ‘Universities Admissions Centre‘ is of little use to a Victorian.
Until the 2015 relaunch of mX, the front page of each issue featured a city-specifc weather report. On at least one occasion, the Melbourne edition received a much more sunnier forecast than usual.
In this case, the forecast was for Brisbane
And finally – the advertisements. Selling ad space in the newspaper was the only way that News Corp made any money out of mX, so there were plenty of them – often city specific.
PTV was a big spender, given the target market of mX being an exact match for their service update notifications.
But occasionally advertisements from interstate slipped through the cracks, such as this one for a Sydney fun run.
I’m not sure how many 9 to 5 commuters in Melbourne are available at 1pm on a Friday to compete in a fun run located 800-odd kilometres away!