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I had to pay $2 for something which is free?

Isn’t this just fantastic, CIT [1] spend a week bombarding television advertising space (and possibly FM radio advertising space, but I wouldn’t know about that) with a message about CIT direct enrolment information being available in the Saturday 21 January edition of the Canberra Times.

This was important to me as I needed this information about times and dates for enrolment, so on Saturday I rearranged my busy morning schedule so that I could go down to the newsagent (which was closed, ended up going to the supermarket) to buy the Saturday Canberra Times. To my horror I discovered that I had to pay $2 for this overabundance of classifieds and commentary on the social goings-ons of groups that don’t interest me (coupled with the occasional news story). Considering that Sydney’s Sunday newspapers cost about the same price here in Canberra as the Saturday Canberra Times, I would consider the Saturday Canberra Times a ripoff.

I wouldn’t have minded paying this fee and rearranging my schedule if this was the only way to get the information, as the CIT seemed to imply in their advertisements. However, today as I look at the CIT website [2], what do I find but a freely downloadable 1.1 MB PDF version of the miniscule direct enrolment guidebook [3].

Was it really too hard for the CIT to say “Check this Saturday’s Canberra Times or see our website”? Considering that many students work on weekends, surely this would have made life easier for a vast majority of those who are seeking enrolment in CIT courses.

I do hope the Canberra Times gave CIT a percentage of the sales revenue for this, as the number of papers sold would surely have been above average thanks to CIT’s advertising…who knows, maybe this theoretical payment helped cover the cost of the advertising…or did I just unwittingly donate $2 to Rural Press? If so, can I claim that back on tax? No!…Hmmm, funny that…


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#1 Comment By Kerces On January 23, 2006 @ 2:52 pm

Considering that Sydney’s Sunday newspapers cost about the same price here in Canberra as the Saturday Canberra Times, I would consider the Saturday Canberra Times a ripoff

No Sam, given that the Saturday paper, in any area, is the biggest, the most filled with ads and (generally considered) the most prestigious edition of the week, the Sunday papers that are charging more than the Saturday CT are the ones ripping you off, not the other way round.

#2 Comment By Samuel On January 23, 2006 @ 3:06 pm

OK, fair point. I’ve personally always considered the Sunday papers to be more prestigious. The Saturday paper is filled with too much junk for me to bother with it.

#3 Comment By Kerces On January 23, 2006 @ 9:18 pm

Junk like job ads, proper real estate, decent in-depth features and background to the week’s news and a weekly features magazine (in the case of most papers)?

#4 Comment By Kerces On January 23, 2006 @ 9:20 pm

(sorry didn’t finishe my thought)

As opposed to the superficial stories and large amounts of fluff in the tabloid Sunday papers? Most weeks the only things worth reading in the Sunday Times are the cartoons and Jenna Price’s column.

#5 Comment By Samuel On January 23, 2006 @ 9:45 pm

I mostly gave up reading the paper version of newspapers when I started getting news off the Internet. I still skim through CT, Daily Telegraph, Heral Sun, The Australian and The Chronicle when they are available, sometimes I will read a full article in them, but I generally try to keep up to date via other means, and use a newspaper to pick up extra info when I think I need it. I occasionally flick through City Ads (News) and get a laugh out of some of the advertorials.

I prefer weekday papers where I’m not given an excess of stuff which I don’t want. When I pick up a newspaper I want news, editorials and letters (news includes sport, finance and weather for this purpose), not “what’s on this weekend”, an analysis of house prices in other suburbs, and various other things. I’m sure plenty of others like it, but I have better things to do with my weekend.

If I need a Sunday paper, then I go for a Sydney one, I avoid the Sunday Canberra Times like the plague.

That being said, if I’m looking for that info, and don’t want to look online, then sure, I’ll get the relevant newspaper. But I still fail to see why CIT couldn’t advertise the fact that they would place the Direct Enrolment Handbook online.

Oh, forgot to mention, I get my selected cartoon by email as well.

Here’s an idea, why not have a slightly discounted version of the newspaper for sale which doesn’t include the liftouts, I for one would be more willing to buy something which doesn’t contain things I don’t want to see. On the odd occasion that I do want to see them, I’d be more than willing to buy the whole newspaper, at its full retail price.

#6 Comment By heatseeker On January 24, 2006 @ 9:23 am

I’ve found I have had no need to buy a newspaper since I started logging into Samuel’s blog – all the relevant news about the world can be found right here every day! That said, I am a little concerned that I start speaking in strange tongues and my head starts spinning 360 degrees every time I log in here …

#7 Comment By cunninglinguist On January 24, 2006 @ 10:36 pm

Yeah, heatseeker, this is like the Reader’s Digest of the news, all filtered through John Laws and the ilk

#8 Comment By Kerces On January 25, 2006 @ 11:35 pm

why not have a slightly discounted version of the newspaper for sale which doesn’t include the liftouts,

Because probably you’d have to run a separate print run for such a thing (as all the bits are collated as part of the print run) and as such it probably wouldn’t be economical to do so.

The CT has troubles working out its demographry — in such a small, one paper district it has to appeal to both AB and CD markets — and so has lowered itself over the past decade or so to the lowest common denomintor, or somewhere near there (in my opinion). That said, poor people (CDs) just won’t buy the paper if they cant afford it unless there’s something really attractive in it for them whereas richer people (ABs) will tend to buy the local paper regardless of quality because it provides them with local information such as movie times, house prices, what’s on this weekend and so on that they can’t necessarily get from anywhere else.

#9 Comment By Samuel On January 25, 2006 @ 11:39 pm

Fair enough. I still hope that part of my $2 went to CIT, although I fear that I am being overly optimistic about that.