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More CT Editor speculation

By johnboy - 10 January 2009 18

What are the most powerful positions in Canberra?

I’d argue that they are: Chief Minister, Minister for Territories, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

And the Editor of the Canberra Times.

Which is a problem as the position has been turning over so fast of late that it’s hard to keep track. On the plus side it’s become a stepping stone to great things in the Fairfax empire. The downside is a loss of insitutional memory.

In Crikey Margaret Simons is throwing around some names.

Michael Millett, the SMH’s deputy editor appears to definitely be throwing his hat into the ring. Sunday Age editor Gay Alcorn sounds genuinely disinterested. Current CT deputy editor Bruce Jones also gets mentioned in dispatches.

What’s Your opinion?


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18 Responses to
More CT Editor speculation
Woody Mann-Caruso 10:38 am 11 Jan 09

It was actually a genuine question, not a grammar Nazi thing. A quick check of the OED confirms the word can be used both ways. While the first use (‘unconcerned’) can be considered ‘loose’, people have been using it that way since at least the mid-1400s, so probably a bit late to do anything about it. So, I’ll try again:

Does she not want the job, or would she be a good editor because she isn’t embroiled in Canberra’s affairs and so could provide an objective perspective?

ant 9:07 am 11 Jan 09

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

Sunday Age editor Gay Alcorn sounds genuinely disinterested.

Do you mean she doesn’t care, or do you mean she’s impartial?

Good point, WMC. I see people using “disinterested” when they mean uninterested, and it’s bloody annoying. The ‘dis’ on the front means a disconnect from.

As for who reads the CT, maybe people in the ACT government read it, but last year my boss appeared in the social pages (my mother who does read the CT told me), so I went on the scrounge around my department (a major central agency) to find a copy. No one had it. I ended up having to get that page off my mother!

captainwhorebags 7:53 am 11 Jan 09

Considering the way that Canberra media seems to pilfer stories from this website, you must be getting up there in the power stakes johnboy.

If only we could get some attribution for news that originates or develops here.

emd 6:06 pm 10 Jan 09

Another factor here is that there are many different spheres of influence. There are probably plenty of young people with no idea who the Minister for Planning is, but quite detailed knowledge of where are the good places to shop. Whatever influences those young people (eg media, blogworld, Facebook/MySpace) would have a big impact on planning decisions for shops.

trevar 4:26 pm 10 Jan 09

johnboy said :

It’s a highly conditional power, whereas governments and the judiciary can be absolutist.

Only until the next election year, then it becomes conditional again. Much of it depends on how you measure power. Is it the capacity to effect change, or is it the capacity to control? Is it about their impact on society, or their impact on laws and infrastructure?

I assume the former, and would give the same answer in that context, but I agree with you and sepi if we’re talking more about the latter.

sepi 4:18 pm 10 Jan 09

Hmm

Last year it appeared that criticism of Jon Stanhope led to a WIN journo losing her job. Interesting power dynamic there.

And our particular Chief Minister is famous for sticking to his guns in the face of public outcry, so right now in Canberra I would put him as more powerful than the media.

johnboy 4:16 pm 10 Jan 09

media are only as powerful as their ability to retain an audience.

It’s a highly conditional power, whereas governments and the judiciary can be absolutist.

trevar 4:10 pm 10 Jan 09

Perhaps that’s close, but I would argue that a newspaper editor, along with television and radio news producers are more powerful than the Chief Minister. Politicians are all essentially just public servants, and can only choose what is acceptable in the public eye. And since the main people who express what is and is not acceptable to the public are the media, I would argue that they’re more powerful. Unlike politicians, the heads of the media are leaders. Politicians have to do as they’re told or they lose their jobs.

emd 3:30 pm 10 Jan 09

Some of the 666 ABC AM presenters are quite politically influential, in that every politician in town listens to Ross Solly in the morning.

Meredith Hunter has to rate as highly influential, since the last ACT election. As would Katy Gallagher, with responsibility for both the $ and health policy.

Nambucco Deliria 2:50 pm 10 Jan 09

Steady Eddie said :

The Canberra Times influential? I don’t think I’ve read one of their editorials in over 20 years.

Like I said, depends who the one third of the population is.

Steady Eddie 2:21 pm 10 Jan 09

The Canberra Times influential? I don’t think I’ve read one of their editorials in over 20 years.

Woody Mann-Caruso 2:13 pm 10 Jan 09

Sunday Age editor Gay Alcorn sounds genuinely disinterested.

Do you mean she doesn’t care, or do you mean she’s impartial?

eh_steve 2:06 pm 10 Jan 09

I notice the front page today talks about a ban on ‘tobless’ sun bathing…

Nambucco Deliria 2:05 pm 10 Jan 09

Depends who the one third of the population is.

Deano 1:31 pm 10 Jan 09

I assume you mean locally but it depends what you mean by ‘powerful’.

If it involves building things with little regard for community input then the head of the NCA or Canberra Airport would rate up there.

Having the power to effect of the greatest number of peoples’ lives would probably be Minister for Territory and Municipal Services or Minister for Planning.

As for having the greatest influence on public opinion, no one springs to mind. Its not like Canberra has a local version of Alan Jones and a newspaper that is read by one third of the population at most (http://www.thenewspaperworks.com.au/go/newspaper/the-canberra-times) really doesn’t rate.

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