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Beyond the expected

CT sells out

By Kerces - 5 April 2006 29

Yesterday (4-APR-06) Canberra Times readers were confronted with the following image on the front page:

CT 4 April 2006

This was somewhat confusing as one would presume that people reading the Canberra Times already live in Canberra (or possibly Queanbeyan, but we’ll pretend they don’t exist for the moment).

Quite apart from that, looking at the pictures I would say it is nothing like a fair comparison of the two cities.

On the one hand we have a massive traffic jam, presumably full of people trying to get to work, and on the other we have two people, who are appraently not at work, cycling with not a road in sight. Keep in mind too this came only two days after the same newspaper had a big feature about the terrible traffic on Canberra’s roads, complete with photos of the two dozen or so cars at each of the intersections being discussed.

Anyway, this morning the reason for this bizarre front page was revealed. It turns out Jon Stanhope went to Sydney yesterday to spruik Canberra to residents of Campbelltown. This seems to have involved Mr Stanhope standing on a soapbox lecturing about the virtues of our fair city while his minions brandished copies of yesterday’s Canberra Times and thrust them upon unsuspecting Campbelltownions, as in the picture below (but Sharpe’s view of the event is also worth a look)

Stanhope in Sydney

Hang on…brandished copies of yesterday’s Canberra Times and thrust them upon unsuspecting Campbelltownions?

Looks like the CT did a deal with the government: you print this story we want and we’ll boost your circulation by several thousand. Never mind that it’s a once off boost, giving the papers out for free or to an area that isn’t likely ot translate into subscriptions — it’s all numbers to add to those falling figures that plague the paper.

This kind of thing sits quite uncomfortably with all the ethics the well-meaning journalism faculty has instilled me with, but then I’m not the one running the paper — hell, I don’t even work for them — so I guess if it sits ok with the acting editor then all is fine… maybe.

What’s Your opinion?

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29 Responses to
CT sells out
Thumper 9:46 am 06 Apr 06

After spending 20 years of my life living all around Australia and the world, I came to Canberra and decided that I liked it.

And so I stayed.

Maelinar 9:32 am 06 Apr 06

Iemma the Dillema summed it up quite nicely I thought, Canberra is a quaint little country town. I like quaint little country towns, and I’m sure most Sydneysiders would too.

This is not an invitation however.

Special G 9:32 am 06 Apr 06

Good call Stella about utilising the lake more. A bit of waterskiing wouldn’t go astray. Or switch Lake Ginninderra into a waterskiing lake – no one uses it for anything else.

Draw people down to the lake shores. I seem to remember a plan for City West with that type of thig on it linking the City with the shores around to the National Museum.

I had a subscription to the CT a while ago. I spread it out on my back garden beds and put mulch on it.

geebug 10:27 pm 05 Apr 06

it’s a sheep paddock with a city attached- but it’s ok- Canberra- I feel needs to find it’s own identity- enough with the flower shows and the random ‘nanna stuff’- it is unique- just needs to to find a voice- as a ex sydney sider- why oh why would you want the people of Cambelltown in Canberra? We have Queanbeyan…

Vic Bitterman 9:28 pm 05 Apr 06

Corruption in editorials Johnboy? No way, this *is* the CT here.

Maybe your tinfoil hat didn’t completely cover your scone.

boomacat 8:26 pm 05 Apr 06

There’s no way of comparing Sydney and Canberra. Sydney is a proper city with a population exceeding 4 million people and Canberra is a country town with less than 350,000. These situations both have their costs and benefits, ie Sydney has more life, Canberra is quieter with more space.

annie 7:59 pm 05 Apr 06

Jonny, Big J, maaaate… WHAT are you doing trying to convince the people of Campbelltown to come to Canberra?

We want Sydney-siders yes, but not THEM.

Stella 7:35 pm 05 Apr 06

The fact that Sydney has become so crowded is testament to the fact that it is a desirable place to live.
Canberra on the other hand is quiet and uncrowded because it constantly fails to develop anything that is remotely interesting. People whinge when groups try to use Lake Burley Griffin (eg. waterskiers) or to develop areas that may draw people to Canberra. If people used that lake more and had cafes etc around it, then perhaps a little bit of character might develop. I recommend Bill Bryson’s “Down Under” description of Canberra to anyone who asks what it is like.
There are some great museums here, but that doesn’t give a city/town character. And Floriade with its four garden beds worth of flowers is a pretty poor drawcard (unless the blue rinse set is sought). The ACT council should be trying a lot harder to build a personality for Canberra.

geebug 6:17 pm 05 Apr 06

What is embarrassing is the advert on Sunday’s CT page 9… “Look out Canberra it’s Senior’s Week!”
Who is doing the PR down here?!… Really

Ari 6:00 pm 05 Apr 06

You’re completely wrong Geebung … it’s far more than a little embarrassing.

geebug 5:56 pm 05 Apr 06

Just having moved from Sydney to Canberra- all this stuff is just a little embarrassing- there is no competition – these are two completely different cities- embrace the difference- without turning into navel gazers like Melbourne…

jamius maximus 5:53 pm 05 Apr 06

Awesome investigative journalism Kerces. Mediawatch style exposé.

johnboy 4:24 pm 05 Apr 06

“supporting” by corrupting their editorial?

DT 4:07 pm 05 Apr 06

The CT is one of 21 organisations supporting the campaign.

Swaggie 3:49 pm 05 Apr 06

and a slight irony in that the Times was leading only the other week with a beat up about “traffic chaos” in Canberra complete with pictures.

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