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Minister for Everything launches “Newsspeak” website

By Indi - 15 August 2005 21

The Prince has launched a website casting himself as “the Minister you should contact concerning all constituency matters”. Just in case you have never seen him (or require a gentle reminder), his mug is on every page on the site:

The ACT Government is about to launch a new web site for the ACT’s Chief Minister. As part of the site, our ageing media release system has been overhauled (that took a little while to figure out).

This notice is your first release from the new system, which will be phased in over the next week or so. You can expect to receive a few tests over the next few days, with the new system being fully operational within a week.


All releases will be available on the new web site. The existing site at will be maintained for some time to allow old releases to be accessed.

The new service should offer a better and more reliable system for disseminating media statements

(as opposed to waiting a number of days to see a media release go live to the website)

What’s Your opinion?

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21 Responses to
Minister for Everything launches “Newsspeak” website
Kerces 9:53 pm 16 Aug 05

Hey rear view: don’t worry about it. Plenty of people post here without reading things through.

johnboy 7:44 pm 16 Aug 05

Have to say I’m a little disapointed we didn’t make the links page.

(But not so surprised)

johnboy 7:43 pm 16 Aug 05

I have to say I think it’s kind of neat the way the CM’s face stays the same as the backgrounds change.

Maelinar, it’s an ASP site so I would guess they’ve made it easier for non-techs to add content which should be good.

Personally I judge a site more by the dynamism of its content than the pretty pictures. The layout is clean and simple.

–> Rear_View.
Why the post aversion?

Rear_View 7:14 pm 16 Aug 05

I’m just not going to post anymore…

Rear_View 7:13 pm 16 Aug 05

Did anyone notice the media relase Smyth put out?

Pretty funny…

terubo 3:37 pm 16 Aug 05

I’d start at the tail.

Maelinar 3:30 pm 16 Aug 05

hehe, didn’t take me long to google an image of a donkey head, easier to airbrush into something conventional than the comrades 🙂

terubo 2:42 pm 16 Aug 05

It would have taken you an additional half-day to airbrush and otherwise modify Stanhope’s features to a ‘G’ classification however. Assuming you hadn’t freaked out in the doing of it…

Maelinar 2:29 pm 16 Aug 05

As a webmaster, I could throw that together pretty quickly.

Hardly any DHTML/Flash/JScript evident, only HTML linking documents.

I would have charged pebbles for that (stuff of that quality I do as a hobby), although since I was selling to government I would have tripled my price.

Economical reuse of graphics too…

Professionally I’d reasonably assume I could throw that together in a day, given that media releases come preformatted and it’s cut and paste stuff.

Airbrushing/Photoshopping the banners would take the longest time, only because I’d be umming and aahing over what colour to make it.

Then again the banners are single photo cuts as well. One afternoon with a digital camera would do the trick.

Overall, not a good site, no dynamics, no bells and whistles. I give it a 2/10 – a preteen computer geek could have produced this.

Thumper 1:35 pm 16 Aug 05

Surely a better name would be “Pravda”?

Kerces 1:24 pm 16 Aug 05

Having checked out the new site last night, my main comment is that I was completely unnerved by having Stanhope’s face staring out at me the whole time. Didn’t matter how many times I changed pages, the background would change but Stanhope would still be there watching me.

terubo 11:27 am 16 Aug 05

Probably a lot more than it should have.

Maelinar 10:25 am 16 Aug 05

Sorry Brendan, but afterall, the comrade is the Prime Minister of Canberra.

I just can’t see the big issue here, given that HTML direct coding can be learned in about 15 minutes, and if you use a prog like frontpage, dreamweaver etc it’s all done for you.

I don’t think this one would have made waves in the great pool of taxpayer money quite frankly, although if it did I would be quite surprised, and irate.

Anybody know how much it cost ?

johnboy 11:09 pm 15 Aug 05

Well the site is nothing special, the ALP should have been able to design it themselves with the resources of their members.

but i’m confident a well padded contract to a mate was involved.

The site itself is reasonably effective, even if it is downright peculiar to have Mr. Stanhope’s face on his minister’s media releases.

The real question is why not refresh the content on the existing cmd site rather than create a whole new one?

I suspect inccompetence.

In any event, we await improved timeliness with bated breath. it only took until 2005 for the ACT Government to put out media released in html!

Kerces 8:04 pm 15 Aug 05

There’s also this release out from the Liberals complaining about said new website. Brendan Smyth’s main complaint is that it was made using taxpayers’ money when we’re in a deficit. But he also says:

“This is a nonsense. Never before in the history of self-government has one Chief Minister been so full of self-importance to want to use taxpayers’ dollars to promote themself on a web page.

“I realise that the Prime Minister has a Prime Minister’s Home Page which is funded and overseen by the Office of Prime Minister and Cabinet, but John Howard is after-all the Prime Minister of Australia.


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