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Is City News The Worst Newspaper In The Country?

August 15th, 2005 at 07:15pm

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.


Entry Filed under: Canberra Stories,Samuel's Editorials,TV/Radio/Media

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  • 1. (Name removed)  |  August 15th, 2005 at 10:42 pm

    (Comment removed at request of author — Samuel)

  • 2. samuel  |  August 15th, 2005 at 11:58 pm

    To be perfectly honest, I was kind of expecting a statement from City News saying that they are a fine newspaper etc, when I read the first line of your comment I thought it had arrived.

    I am actually in shock now, I never thought it was as bad as that.

    I was discussing this with one of the drama teachers at Dickson College today, the first thing he said when I mentioned City News was “Oh, that’s the real estate magazine isn’t it?”…close enough!

    (removed), thankyou very much for your input, it is quite simply extraordinary.

  • 3. John_B1_B5  |  August 20th, 2005 at 11:39 am

    In the August 18,2005 edition of City News, there is a very attractive Afro looking woman on the cover of “The Canberra Review” ( allegedly in the cast of “Carmen”, which is coming to the Canberra Theatre),but after reading the “Carmen sizzles” section, the only female names mentioned are Tania Ferris and Judith Dodsworth, and neither of those is the woman on the front cover ! It seems the Afro lady has NOTHING to do with the Canberra production of “Carmen” !
    So,I might ask the question — WHO IS IT ? ….. and ….What sort of Mickey Mouse ‘news magazine’ is CityNews ???????

  • 4. samuel  |  August 20th, 2005 at 1:43 pm

    I’ll have to have a look when it eventually fins it’s way to my letterbox. Thanks for pointing it out John, I wouldn’t have spotted it because I wouldn’t have bothered to read it (go back a month and I might have).

  • 5. samuel  |  August 20th, 2005 at 1:44 pm

    “fins” = “finds”

    Another reason to move to WordPress, I can edit my comments to corrct spelling mistakes.

  • 6. John_B1_B5  |  August 20th, 2005 at 2:35 pm

    Ok Samuel …. I’d LOVE to know who that Afro lady is …. As for the typo … don’t worry about it – (it happens all the time on the Net ) lol !

  • 7. samuel  |  August 20th, 2005 at 4:32 pm

    The picture in the “Carmen Sizzles” article has three women, one of them is hiding behind the bloke who looks like he is in the middle of an operatic tantrum, she is probably the closest match based on the hair (which is all I can see of her) but ultimately that cover photo doesn’t seem to have any relevance to anything. It is the picture from the Canberra Theatre Centre website, but it is still unclear who the mystery woman is.

    I’m slightly more concerned about the City News cover, have the ACT Government spent $1500+ to tell us how wonderful & “enthusiatic” the director of the ACT Department of Education and Training is?

  • 8. samuel  |  August 20th, 2005 at 4:35 pm

    Note, City News can spell “Enthusiastic” which is more than I can say for myself.

  • 9. John_B1_B5  |  August 20th, 2005 at 5:08 pm

    Yes, that’s her on the Canberra Theatre Website. It looks like the Canberra Theatre are the culprits, and City News just printed a picture of what was given to them .
    That woman is NOT in the Canberra Theatre production ! How dare they mislesd the public by using her photo !

  • 10. samuel  |  August 20th, 2005 at 5:43 pm

    Perhaps you should buy a ticket and then demand a refund afterwards because you went to see her and she wasn’t there.
    (And I ain’t responsible if they don’t provide a refund)

  • 11. John_B1_B5  |  August 20th, 2005 at 7:44 pm

    That would be one way … but I think I may report them to the Universal Nation of Zulus for misrepresenting a sistah !

  • 12. samuel  |  August 20th, 2005 at 7:46 pm

    Fair enough…sounds reasonable.

  • 13. John_B1_B5  |  August 23rd, 2005 at 10:46 am

    Ok …I called the Canberra Theatre, and they told me that the woman is a (nameless) model supplied by an Agency. She has absolutely nothing to do with the stage show !
    (I think it’s downright misleading ! ) . John B1_B5

  • 14. samuel  |  August 23rd, 2005 at 11:22 am

    The world is going mad!
    I strongly suspect that the Canberra Theatre are profiteering…nobody wants to see their little play, so they make it look like some model will be in it to boost the ticket sales, sad and pathetic.


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