When Jason Blake attends tonight’s opening of Alan Ayckbourn’s Taking Stepsat the Ensemble Theatre it will be the last theatre review he files for The Sydney Morning Herald. Elissa Blake has also written her last stories for Fairfax Media (with three more to be published in The Sun-Herald).

The Blakes have been high-profile arts writers for the SMHand Sun Heraldfor the past 10 years – Elissa as a freelance feature writer and Jason as the paper’s chief theatre critic since 2010. But they have been told that their new arts website Audrey Journal, which focusses exclusively on the Sydney arts scene, represents a conflict of interest and is “incompatible” with them continuing to contribute to the SMH.

Elissa and Jason Blake. Photograph © Steven Siewert

Speaking to Limelight, Elissa says: “Jason and I chose to create a new arts website for Sydney audiences in a direct response to the reduction in arts coverage across mainstream media. We are exploring a new way of presenting arts stories to audiences in a digital space and new ways to fund this kind of work. We invited the arts industry to invest in the...

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