The Australian’s media section this morning has quite a good profile of newly-appointed Canberra Times editor Mark Baker.
It sounds like Mr Baker’s got some plans to shake up the paper a bit and and make “improvements across the board in the way the newspaper does its journalism”.
He has worked for the Age since 1971, including a stint as a foreign correspondent in which he was shot while in Bougainville.
He sees himself as a a journalist first and foremost, but does also like to write some opinion. He told The Australian that he has had some involvement in newspaper budgets before, one of the areas which reportedly has been troublesome at the CT lately.
“I am serious about quality journalism – serious, not in the sense of being deadly earnest – but quality first and foremost,” he said. “I loved my time on the road, but this job offers the one irresistible element; to do what I haven’t done before – to edit my own paper. I want to take it forward, to build it, and the Rural Press management, by employing me, is also saying ‘this is the direction we want to take the paper’.”
“I have had a strong message from management. We will cover the stories that need to be covered.”
This all sounds to me like good news for both the paper’s readers and its staff.