Archive for August 15th, 2005

Is City News The Worst Newspaper In The Country?

Quite possibly the answer is yes.
Without a doubt, City News is the worst newspaper in Canberra. In fact, it is hardly fair on the newspaper industry to call City News a newspaper, in truth it is a glorified freely-distributed glossy advertorial nonsense device.

Lets take a look at a typical City News edition. It is divided into three sections, City News, Canberra Review and City Property.

The news section is really just a bunch of press releases and ads that are presented as news stories. It often features an unimportant story about a beauty competition, the colour of the City Hill flagpole or some other related nonsense, which is almost always derived from a press release. The only semi-substantial component of the news section is the editorial by some anonymous person calling themselves “The Whip”, who “Doesn’t necessarily represent the views of the paper” and generally provides a fairly generic semi-relevant rubbishing of the news.

The second section, “The Canberra Review” is a fairly bland commentary on the upcoming artistic events of the week. It is filled with press releases and reviews by people who really don’t seem to know what they are talking about.

The third section is an upside down (literally) section about Canberra real estate. It contains stories about whatever expensive properties are up for sale in Red Hill and surrounds (which seem to be written by the real estate agents), and a bunch of real estate ads. In this case, “bunch” means multiple pages of nothing but real estate ads.

Over time, City News has had a range of dismal columns by exceptionally boring people on topics that don’t matter or don’t appear to interest the writer, they all seem to have failed, possibly because the writer bored themselves, or City News sold the space to advertisers. Either way, it was dismal.

In fairness, the competition aren’t exactly brilliant either. The Canberra Times has gone downhill since Rural Press bought them. Editor Jack Waterford has tried to maintain some credibility, but has ultimately failed. The Canberra Times has really lost the plot, it’s local news is fairly poor, and it’s coverage of national and international news…well…buy The Australian…you won’t find much of use in The Canberra Times.

For a broadsheet, The Canberra Times is fairly disappointing…so much paper, so little content, what a pity.

The Chronicle is the local tabloid weekly and a subsiduary of The Canberra Times, it is distributed to homes all over Canberra and surrounds for free, and is very good at covering major local stories in detail. Unfortunately, it only covers a handful of newsworthy stories, preferring snippets and “Who won gardener of the week!” type stories. The Chronicle manages to fill most pages with ads, gardening tips, and recipes. Good reading when you are bored, not very good for news though.

I can’t honestly think of a worse newspaper than City News, it doesn’t seem to have any particular purpose. For local news you have The Chronicle, for national and international news you could buy The Canberra Times, but you would be better off with The Australian. If you want to waste time, well, City News is good for that!

City News is without a doubt the worst newspaper in Canberra, and probably the nation.

Now, somebody is surely going to ask me “If you think all these newspapers are bad, then where do you get your news from?”
I’m glad you asked, I generally have the radio tuned to Talk Radio 2CC at various times throughout the day, which provides me with most of my news, I also get some news from The RiotACT, ABC Online and Google News.

Perhaps one day these newspapers will get better, but I’m not holding my breath on that one.


14 comments August 15th, 2005 at 07:15pm


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