Yesterday afternoon while I was having a nap, I had an interesting dream. The dream took place a few weeks after I had inherited a sum of money and a printing press, and started with me preparing the first edition of “Capital Region Daily Truth”, a newspaper for Canberra and surrounds.
I had hired some journalists to work on the ground in Canberra and some of the surrounding towns, and was looking over the reports I had received from my federal parliamentary reporters for the “House On The Hill” section which took a different approach to reporting on federal politics…they actually reported in detail on what happened in the House and the Senate, rather than just on the press conferences. Looking over these reports reminded me of a few points which I wanted to include in my first edition’s editorial about reporting on the truth of things which have happened rather than on spurious speculation and hearsay.
I had two editorials for the first edition of the paper. One, on the front page, was the one I mentioned a moment ago, and outlined the purpose and mission of the paper, while the other editorial in the paper’s opinion section outlined the paper’s editorial line which would focus on liberty, freedom, and the importance of fiscal conservatism in government.
The first edition of the paper sold reasonably well. It sold more copies outside of Canberra than within Canberra, which I put down to the quality of the reporting on matters which affected areas surrounding Canberra, and Canberra’s habit of being a bit of a left-leaning town which was likely to be sceptical of my “conservative” paper.
Each location had its own page which the reporter(s) were under orders to fill every day, with incentives to fill more space, which is exactly what my Cooma reporter did on the paper’s second day.
The reporter got his hands on an internal plan from Cooma-Monaro Shire Council to install a gigantic loudspeaker on the Council’s roof which would produce a series of tones every hour, allegedly to improve the ability of the soil within the shire to grow grass which had higher-than-normal nutritional value for sheep. The loudspeaker would be loud enough to be heard 200 kilometres away in Goulburn during a southerly wind. The Council’s internal plan noted that the loudspeaker would be approved “by administrative means” so as to avoid the need for it to go in front of a public council meeting, as there was a fear that the public might disapprove if they were allowed to comment before the loudspeaker was built. It also cited research in to the nutritional benefits of tones at various frequencies by a researcher who we were unable to locate.
This story was the lead story for the paper, while The Canberra Times led with a story about Katy Gallagher winning a painting competition. The Cooma page of the paper had other Cooma-based stories filling it, with a pointer to the front page for the loudspeaker story.
As the week went on, we found out that the researcher responsible for this tone idea was flying in to the country to configure the loudspeaker, and had recently changed his name after being disgraced in the University of East Anglia’s dodgy climate change data controversy. Under intense questioning from myself and the Cooma reporter at Canberra Airport, this researcher admitted to his role in doctoring the climate change data, admitted that the planet has not warmed for 16 years and that the evidence supporting man-made global warming has been completely refuted and the data was doctored so that the government grant money would keep rolling in, and that he had completely made up the benefits of tones on the growth of crops in the knowledge that some local government somewhere would fall for it and pay him lots of money to set it up.
As a result of this and other stories which Capital Region Daily Truth published that week, it was outselling The Canberra Times 10:1 by the end of the week, and through the editorial effort to educate on the importance of fiscal conservatism in government, helped to cause Canberra to elect conservative politicians to both Senate and both House of Representatives seats at the federal election, which actually occurred a week later than the announced date of September 14 due to a typo on the writs.
Incidentally, Katy Gallagher’s award-winning painting was very nice. It was a colourful abstract painting based on the idea of Floriade’s flowers being planted on top of a gigantic concrete flower on City Hill, an idea which was later approved, just at Williamsdale instead of the solar power station, not on City Hill.