28 September 2007

Canberra's favourite paper

| les
Join the conversation

It’s been a while since i read a story here whinging about the quality of our favourite paper The Canberra Times so I thought I’d step up to the challenge. I expected after they were taken over by Fairfax that we would receive something resembling decent online news coverage but I am still waiting.

How hard is it to edit the pages for Letter to the Editor? I mean, what is the difference between the link “Letters to Editor” and “Letter to the Editor”which appear next to each other? And why randomly divide the letters into separate links? If you want to find letters for a particular day why is that so difficult?? And no, I have never written a letter to the CT so I’m not ego-surfing. Just interested in reading opinions.

Just my thoughts.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

I call Canberra home, and I write 65 characters every Tuesday (7 of those characters are restricted to ‘wanted ‘). It’s amazing how artful you can get with a character limitation.

From feedback I have received, I have increased the figures of people reading the CT on a Tuesday quite significantly. An unintended result, however most probably very symbiotic in nature.

BTW – asp’s comment about the balloon in another thread was in response to this tuesday’s advert. I am still seeking a hot air balloon for an experiment, although it must be dispensable, and for $10 if anybody is interested.

The SMH actually did try something like that a few years back. The papers sent to Canberra had a Canberra Bit in them. but it didn’t increase circulation…. which was already very high! So they gave up. And kept sending large quantities of SMH’s to Canberra daily.

I agree with everyone who says the Canberra Times mostly sucks. There are some good columnists (Waterford when not obsessed, Gourley on the public sector, O’Shea and Page in the literature end) but it’s awfully pedestrian and dreadfully bland most of the time. Baby journos who really don’t know their stuff.

It could become a Washington Post, but it is drifting more and more towards the Gulargambone Denouncer. The website is truly stinky and bad.

Letters. Every day. From the same damn people. Spinning any damn story to fit in with some individual obsession. Stop it.

Bring back the drunk driver reports – name, age, suburb, where caught, BAC figure and penalty. Name a few more classes of idiot.

I keep asking myself why the SMH (same owner) doesn’t put out a Canberra Morning Herald, with the same content and a couple of local pages.

True sepi, though the wording to which my comment replied was the following:
“No one who writes for the CT is from Canberra.”
So I was referring to anyone who writes for them.

Cedric and the Silicon Kid would be ‘regular contributors’ paid per article, not on the books as journos.

I dont know about that HA I know at least one more who is a canberra local. She tells me she reads this site every day.

“3. No one who writes for the CT is from Canberra. OK, I lie. Three journalists/sub-editors are locals. All the rest are from anywhere but Canberra.”

You could probably say that a lot of Canberrans aren’t from Canberra. But how many contributors to CT live locally? Because it’s a lot more than 3 surely.

If it’s really only 3, then the only three locals who write for CT are:
1. Jack Waterford
2. The Silicon Kid (from Tuggeranong)
3. Cedric Bryant

Folks: face facts.
1. Rural Press (Fairfax in drag) still runs the CT. Rural Press sucks. And the company runs on the smell of the proverbial smell of an oily rag.
2. Jack Waterford told Treasury a few weeks back that out of 10, he’d rate most of the Rural Press reporter hires around a three. What does that say about the editorial quality?
3. No one who writes for the CT is from Canberra. OK, I lie. Three journalists/sub-editors are locals. All the rest are from anywhere but Canberra. So they don’t know the place, and they don’t care about it either.
4. It’s a crap newspaper, and a crap website.

The website is appalling. Freebie newspapers have better websites than the CT. I read the SMH online every day, it is excellent. The CT site might have one story from the day, sometimes a few, and then no new ones for days on end. Pathetic.
I quite enjoy the Sunday CT. It does a better job of being a larger version of the Chronicle, than of trying to be a serious broadsheet on other days.

The Canberra Times’ website would have to be the world’s worst newspaper site. As part of my job for an NGO I have to trawl through many newspaper sites that I would never choose to look at if I was pursuing only my own interests. Still the site stands out as pathetic. The “yourguide” gives it away: no local identity and all news is there as a half-hearted enticement to attract viewers to the (boring) adverts. I’d love to look through their Webalyzer log and compare the visit profiles and patterns with those of the Herald Sun (Melb), the Times (London) or the New York Times.

The home delivered copy of the CT arrives in our street at about 4:30am. But the previous days news is still heading the website for the next 4-6 hours. Website maintenance is clearly a job for the day shift.

Many newspapers will send a daily e-mail of their main stories. The NYT e-mail is sent at about 1:00 am their time. What’s happening at the CT at 1:00am? Frantic running around to get the print copy out but all the web staff are all asleep in the Tuggeranong Valley.

Their archive is pathetic. I can search the NYT and others for many years back.

Look at the CT web page references left in your brower’s history – no way to discriminate between them.

The search engine is hopeless. It gives the promise of a nice front end, but there is almost nothing driving it. It’s worse even than the ABC’s.

Their blog would get about one-hundredth of the participation of this site.

It’s my guess the website is managed by someone who rarely visits it and never USES it.

Tuesdays I’m still being printed. Look out for zany adverts – although its likely I’ll be edited next week because of this post.

hingo_VRCalaisV64:39 pm 28 Sep 07

Exactly. Nothing says you don’t give a fuck about being taken seriously on the internet as much as yourguide.com.au

I expect that from rural towns, not Canberra.

The Canberra Times is a joke. No news from Canberra in it. The website is even more of a joke. They have something terminal.

Herald Sun is the best (won best newspaper two years in a row). Melbourne centric but the journalism is solid for the most part and they have great national, finance and business coverage.

the level of journalism has risen. but the online version continues to suck arse.

the CT web site is hopeless by comparison with other ‘national’ or state capital dailies – when will the national capital’s paper get a proper website, not the poor apology for a web site it has now?

On a more serious note, what’s going on with the comics? First it was the screw up in the sequence for the Phantom story, now Dilbert is being repeated from last week! Get your act together Canberra Times!

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.