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Look out Canberra Times, Woroni is… actually, don’t worry.

By creative_canberran - 15 February 2011 58

For the past three months, the new Woroni team, for the first time independent of ANUSA has promised it was working hard to finally deliver a proper newspaper. No doubt The Canberra Times management was losing sleep over christmas awaiting the launch of their new, free competitor. Now that it’s out, I think they’ll sleep easy.

It’s no surprise, talking to the editors back in December, they had to ask what “monetising their website” meant.

The response: we’ll get sponsors and like, ads maybe.

Asked about distribution, they proudly announced two newsagents would carry it. Asked whether they would have it in cafes for the coffee crowd who need something to read, I was greeted by a blank stare.

They didn’t know about the content, but they were concerned about “choosing nice fonts and colours”.

Understandable then that the content is poor. News articles months out of date and written like high school essays and strange reviews including one about a coffee shop that doesn’t mention the coffee, instead focusing on the “good-looking” staff.

So another competitor with great potential turns out a flop, meanwhile the CT is losing readers at quite a rate.

The media landscape in Canberra isn’t looking good.

[ED – Present company excluded we hope]

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58 Responses to
Look out Canberra Times, Woroni is… actually, don’t worry.
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pseudonymous 7:43 pm 07 Nov 11

creative_canberran said :

Thanks for your post, just sent you a message. Cheers.

I bet next year’s Woroni will now be markedly better.

creative_canberran 5:40 pm 07 Nov 11

knoobs said :

@creative_canberran I will be involved with Woroni for next year and many of the points you’ve raised are fair ones. You also have an understanding of multimedia production/interviewing and, in all sincerity, we’d love to have you involved especially on expanding the radio and multimedia side of Woroni.

Thanks for your post, just sent you a message. Cheers.

knoobs 4:51 pm 05 Nov 11

@creative_canberran I will be involved with Woroni for next year and many of the points you’ve raised are fair ones. You also have an understanding of multimedia production/interviewing and, in all sincerity, we’d love to have you involved especially on expanding the radio and multimedia side of Woroni.

@bloviate I totally share your concerns regarding the aesthetic appeal of Woroni and we are actually looking for an Art Director for next year who will focus specifically on layout design and have a working knowledge of InDesign, Photoshop etc.

It would be great to have you guys involved. Would you be interested in getting in touch? Please let me know through here or email into us at woroni at anu.edu.au.

bloviate 4:22 pm 05 Nov 11

Back on topic – Yes, Woroni could do with a bit of work. As a student of the Art School, it frustrates me when it is published void of aesthetic concern. It submits to visual gimmicks (e.g. the penguin book themed cover) that are an insult to the students at the top of Childers Street.
If the magazine proclaims to be the voice of the ANU, then a concern about the whole of the ANU would be respected. I’m yet to meet anyone who actually reads it. I’m sure the buddies of the writers do, and that’s just swell to them.

Yes it’s a student ‘news’paper, and yes it’s therefore rhetoric to critise it. But it doesn’t have to be awful, and it pisses me off when I’m waiting for my (efficiently organised) doctors appointment, with nothing else besides me to read.

bloviate 4:09 pm 05 Nov 11

creative_canberran said :

bloviate said :

creative_canberran said :

* Students experience waits of between 1-4 weeks for access to the medical service and counselling service
* Students recently protested the merger of two on campus libraries, and Woroni was vocal in supporting the opposition.

Well hey, this isn’t the least bit true.

As an ANU student, I’ve (on several occasions) seen a doctor on the same day that I’ve booked. The health services are great.

And as far as the library merger goes? If you’re refering to the merger of the Art School and Music libraries – then Woroni was definitely not in support of the opposition you goose. They simply ran an article about how police were present at the protest. If you have the article near-by, there’s a good pic of me in it.

I understand your frustration – Woroni is a pile of shite. Just don’t go making up lies about it. I too would like to see it improved, but that’s not going to happen if you ham off like this.
That said – Woroni makes for great fuel in our fire bins

ANU Counselling Service: “During the quiet part of term it is sometimes possible to make an appointment for a normal session within a week however during the busier periods there may be a longer waiting period. We are keen to provide you and other students with access to counselling without waiting several weeks”

Medical service can vary wildly and I’ve not used it personally. For every person who has gotten an appointment within 24hrs, others have had to wait days. Also, unlike many private health centres in Canberra, it only operates 5 days a week, so students have had to find alternatives on weekends.

As for the coverage of the library merger, the articles never criticised the tact of the protestors, it just promoted their points. Had they drawn attention to the blank negativity (as the mainstream media do about Abbot for example), it would have been more balanced.

Well, in my experience of the ANU health services – I’ve never had, nor known of a wait in getting an appointment. While there are certain areas of the ANU that I feel could be granted more attention (like the issue of real estate you mentioned earlier), the health services are not one. While I understand your point; I don’t think there is rationality in comparing Woroni to the medicinal availabilities of the ANU. This is a bit of a stretch good sir.
You make it seem like ANU funding all comes from one big kitty, like Scroodge McDuck’s coin vault. Quite simply, if Woroni has been allowed a room to publish their awful ‘news’paper, it doesn’t mean that other ANU resources are lessened in the process. ANU funding is far more complicated than that.

I’m on your side, just not in how you’re arguing it. As an ANU student, I can poke a fair few holes in what you’re saying. BUT, I can see that it’s not lies (like I accused you off before, sorry), just ill-informed information. And that’s understandable.

mareva 2:42 pm 05 Nov 11

Undergrad writers have the journalistic integrity of a gnat. A lot of these people don’t work (thanks to daddy’s dollars), or do menial work. They have not learnt the value professional integrity. As such, paraphrasing the BBC? Pssh, standard. Consulting all of 2 sources for a front page ball-breaker? That’s 2 too many. But such is life for a student newspaper. Unworldly, highly opinionated garbage.

creative_canberran 2:29 pm 05 Nov 11

bloviate said :

creative_canberran said :

* Students experience waits of between 1-4 weeks for access to the medical service and counselling service
* Students recently protested the merger of two on campus libraries, and Woroni was vocal in supporting the opposition.

Well hey, this isn’t the least bit true.

As an ANU student, I’ve (on several occasions) seen a doctor on the same day that I’ve booked. The health services are great.

And as far as the library merger goes? If you’re refering to the merger of the Art School and Music libraries – then Woroni was definitely not in support of the opposition you goose. They simply ran an article about how police were present at the protest. If you have the article near-by, there’s a good pic of me in it.

I understand your frustration – Woroni is a pile of shite. Just don’t go making up lies about it. I too would like to see it improved, but that’s not going to happen if you ham off like this.
That said – Woroni makes for great fuel in our fire bins

ANU Counselling Service: “During the quiet part of term it is sometimes possible to make an appointment for a normal session within a week however during the busier periods there may be a longer waiting period. We are keen to provide you and other students with access to counselling without waiting several weeks”

Medical service can vary wildly and I’ve not used it personally. For every person who has gotten an appointment within 24hrs, others have had to wait days. Also, unlike many private health centres in Canberra, it only operates 5 days a week, so students have had to find alternatives on weekends.

As for the coverage of the library merger, the articles never criticised the tact of the protestors, it just promoted their points. Had they drawn attention to the blank negativity (as the mainstream media do about Abbot for example), it would have been more balanced.

bloviate 1:55 pm 05 Nov 11

creative_canberran said :

* Students experience waits of between 1-4 weeks for access to the medical service and counselling service
* Students recently protested the merger of two on campus libraries, and Woroni was vocal in supporting the opposition.

Well hey, this isn’t the least bit true.

As an ANU student, I’ve (on several occasions) seen a doctor on the same day that I’ve booked. The health services are great.

And as far as the library merger goes? If you’re refering to the merger of the Art School and Music libraries – then Woroni was definitely not in support of the opposition you goose. They simply ran an article about how police were present at the protest. If you have the article near-by, there’s a good pic of me in it.

I understand your frustration – Woroni is a pile of shite. Just don’t go making up lies about it. I too would like to see it improved, but that’s not going to happen if you ham off like this.
That said – Woroni makes for great fuel in our fire bins

creative_canberran 1:34 am 05 Nov 11

QuietPlease said :

And as far as the radio show goes: in only 13 1-hour shows have managed to interview… Wyatt Roy MP

I would suggest that an interview doesn’t count unless its good. Unfortunately, their interviews are sleep inducing numbers that fall far short of the Frost/O’Brien/Parkinson level… or even the Grimshore ACA level.

Case in point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqLpwnuYMz0

Video is poorly framed and positioned, wrong microphones used, questions rambling and uninsightful.

Seriously I could go in with an iPhone, a post it note with dot points for issues to cover and do far better.

luther_bendross 9:10 am 27 Oct 11

I know this site is one of opinions and that ANU is a part of Canberra, but all this wank talk over Woroni (and subsequently where this thread has headed) is utter tripe. Woroni is only relevant to students, and even then their readership is s***house. The rest of us couldn’t care less about ANU students’ medical waiting times and your lack of counselling services. You want medical: there’s a bajillion services around Canberra, stop complaining that the one most convenient to you is busy. Sometimes the rhetoric spouting from ANU students’ (and alumni that can’t let go) mouths epitomises all that s**ts me about self-important, life experience-lacking, insulated, hobo students. How about you all go Occupy something to get your incredibly vague and disjointed arguments acoss.

Lookout Smithers 7:37 am 27 Oct 11

Isn’t looking good? It has never looked good ? I can go back ten years and point out blatant lies, inaccuracies and deformation without really looking . Sadly, the CT is actually one of the better papers relative to the rest of the country.

toriness 10:00 pm 26 Oct 11

colourful sydney racing identity said :

So, Creative_Canberran, time to fess up, you ran for Woroni editor and didn’t win right?

the ANU paper has an elected editor rather than one selected on their merits ie skills and experience? well that’s where they’re going wrong (if they are – have never read it).

creative_canberran 9:19 pm 26 Oct 11

Anyone whose been following recent headlines on here, in The Canberra Times and so on will be aware of three things:
* ANU staff are complaining about chronic space shortages for both teaching and office spaces
* Students experience waits of between 1-4 weeks for access to the medical service and counselling service
* Students recently protested the merger of two on campus libraries, and Woroni was vocal in supporting the opposition.

Despite having a tiny readership (a few thousand less than the ANU’s own quarterly magazine), no commercial revenue and poor content, guess what they’re now getting:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150355992446247.360280.543951246&type=1
A new, custom built office in a brand new building.

Shut it down, use that space for what’s needed more and the funds poured into Woroni for something worthwhile.

And keep an eye out for ANU Reporter in The Canberra Times quarterly, heaps of interesting stories and professionally produced.

I-filed 7:49 pm 25 Oct 11

QuietPlease said :

And as far as the radio show goes: in only 13 1-hour shows have managed to interview Michael Kirby J, Wyatt Roy MP, Nobel laureate Brian Schmidt, Andrew Barr MLA, Kim Rubenstein and many others.

Once again…not bad for a student run outfit.

Well, all of the above have recently had books to flog, or PR outfits touting them for interviews, or are politicians keen to get a message out, so hardly an achievement …

creative_canberran 6:52 pm 25 Oct 11

BTW, it’s been a year and Woroni is still failing to attract any advertising to sustain itself commercially.
Their website still promotes to businesses that they offer a readership of 6,000 who spend millions of dollars locally and online and print advertising is available.

So I feel vindicated in my criticisms given that they have failed to attract it, and instead are paying for their sloppy hobby by leaching off student funds. This while students complain about waits of over a week for both the medical and counselling service.

creative_canberran 6:50 pm 25 Oct 11

Waiting For Godot said :

Woroni’s website is touting a feature article on transsexuality in Iran.

Foreign Correspondent must have missed that one . . .

I saw this story and it read as though it was summarising content from elsewhere. You can always tell in essays that have been rushed or assembled poorly, the flow will have abruptness at certain points.

The example you give is a prime one of just how poor Woroni is.

The article for everyone can be found here: http://www.woroni.com.au/articles/features/under-veil-transexuality-iran

It is a very old story, dating back to 2007 and a subsequent documentary called “Be Like Others” released in 2008 by Iranian filmmaker Tanaz Eshaghian. The film was shown at Sundance.

The Woroni article written by Farzaneh Edraki simply paraphrases parts of that film and this article from the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7259057.stm – she even “borrows” the device of ranking Iran behind Thailand.

Farzaneh’s article in fact is very dishonest and sneaky in that it avoids saying anywhere that the story she is telling occurred back in 2007. She writes as if it is a current event.
For example: “As Negar Askar tells documentary film-makers in Be Like Others: “Get a sex change in Iran.” – tells? Told back in 2008!

I said in an earlier comment that Woroni recycles stale content, attaches the sloppy English that annoys lecturers in written work and then tries to label it as journalism.

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