August 8th, 2009 at 03:13am
This time around though, I think it’s a crying shame. I have almost no time for the comments section of RiotACT, however when it comes to the stories themselves, I think RiotACT has performed an incredibly valuable service to the ACT, especially under John’s guidance over the last year or so.
If there is one thing for which I have to give John credit, it is being the source of pressure which led to the AFP’s media unit getting press releases online more than once per week. Whilst I have access to the press releases through their direct distribution to media outlets, I do appreciate the fact that AFP stuff is now online in a timely manner.
On a less positive note, I’m reminded of what I said to a friend on the phone the day John returned to RiotACT…”it won’t last, there is no way it will be profitable”. I’m sorry that I was correct. As much as I disagree with John on a number of issues, the fact that he built RiotACT in to a respected local news outlet, respected not just by the public, but by the rest of the media as well, is a testament to John’s hard work and dedication. Alas John has succumbed to the financial needs which press on all of us, and is off to fulfil those needs.
It looks like RiotACT’s future is going to be similar to its past. Not for profit, volunteer driven, and leeching off the ABC with the occasional bit of self-inspired brilliance. Sad really. The loss of a decent independent news service.
This does make me wonder one thing though. If RiotACT can’t be profitable, how does Rupert Murdoch expect a pay-for-access lockdown of his online news services to be profitable? Rupert might have more readers, but when more than half the articles on his sites are recycled news agency articles which are freely available elsewhere (heck, Google hosts copies of Associated Press content), a pay-for-access version of his news services would have to be really really special to turn a buck.
Best of luck for the future John.