Thursday 10 January 2008

These are two of our favourite things

Crocs and chics.

You know I couldn't resist. Anyway, you'd be expecting me to comment and would be disappointed if I didn't.

Thursday's Cairns Post did it again. I hate it when it's becoming so predictable that it's no longer a game.

What has the Cairns Post stooped to Mr Alexander? Mr King?

I know you may accuse me that I'm obsessed with this subject. I'm not. Honest. Well not anymore than Damon Guppy.

Sure naked flesh is fun. But on the front page, the whole front page, of "our" newspaper?

Guess I just think the Post can and should do better than this for a front "news" story - instead of a full frontal page.

What were the subbies thinking in Abbott Street as they finalised the copy on Wednesday night?

So there we have a new record: a full page girly pic that graces the cover of the north's main newspaper.

Here we are, 60 days out from one of the most major local body election reforms to face our community in 8 years. We're amalgamating two significantly different Shires, with some monumental decisions to debate, and this is the best the Cairns Post can do for a lead cover story?

Crocs and chics now seem to be the staple diet of the Cairns Post when there's nothing else in the top drawer.

I feel for those that really want to write at the Post. Those that want to air their ideas and issues confronting North Queensland. Those journos that are passionate about getting stories and debate from all sides of the political fence before the public.

We have at least 35 candidates putting their name forward to participate in this election campaign, all vying for a right to represent their community around the Council table. They will be here to lead and make decisions for this region right up to the year 2012. There's plenty of issues to look at.

Here's some that spring to mind with only a few minutes thought:-

  • an integrated energy efficient light rail transport network;
  • energy rebates for existing house owners;
  • developing world-class wildlife safety nets and corridors;
  • understanding the social effect and cost of high-density living will have in 15-20 years time;
  • out-sourcing council work to private contractors for efficiency and savings;
  • a complete residential engagement survey on long-term uses for waterfront land;
  • cyclone planning and coastal planning to understand and minimising adverse effect from flood delta excess;
  • Council meetings taken into the community;
  • a open enquiry into the development approval process;
  • flood proofing beach access roads, originally planned in 1999;
  • introducing CitySafe Street Walkers 24/7 and debating effective use of CTV's;
  • reporting the ROI to ratepayers on Council's 7 year $2m+ China investment programme;
  • what the new shape of Cairns will be like in 20 years and how to adjust and prepare for it;
  • an integrated and state-of-the-art performing arts centre to embrace all disciplines;
  • a world-class cycle network that seamlessly links up every suburb, and takes advantage of the unique climate we enjoy;
  • a cultural precinct for Aboriginal to educate and inform the wider community and provide a network for self-management and social support facilities;
    and finally....
  • a mayor with two ears and one mouth and uses them in that proportion

As a community we are about to embrace some major electoral reform in Cairns, also encompassing the diverse Douglas Shire under one local government management.

Media have a responsibility and an ability to present idea and spark debate. The Fourth Estate also have the power to persuade, to promote and offer options for their readers.

There are numerous subjects that require debating over the next eight weeks prior to polling day on March 15th. Topless chicks is not one of them. Sorry boys (and girls).

My primary concern about such trashy front pages like this is that it diminishes the quality and respect to being treated as a credible news organ. That is the real shame.

The Cairns Post has a very valuable role to perform in this election campaign. Stunts like this go nowhere to instilling pride in our local newspaper and being viewed as a journal of respect and authority.

Maybe I set my expectations too high. I don't think I do.

By the way, I've had no reply from the journalist or the Editor to my question about Tuesday's news story about Robert Pyne on YouTube.

Not even an email, nor a courtesy telephone call. I did note, 10 minutes after I emailed Mark, Gavin and Sophia with my concerns on Tuesday, NewsLtd computers went into overdrive searching through this blog and looked at 58 pages.

I suggested they search for all the references I made to the Post and the times I'd credited and linked to the Post when I discussed a story first raised in their newspaper. They did this.

The author of the story, Sophia Browne said she would "talk to Gavin King and get back" to me. So I really look forward to hearing from them.

I really want to kiss and make up. And promise I won't use my tongue. Well, just a bit.


Anonymous said...

Check out how many stories on local TV news every night were in that morning's Cairns Pest.
Number of acknowledgements? Zip.

Check out how many national and international news stories run on this website that obviously had their origin on a website or news service somewhere.
Number of acknowledgements? Zip.

If the stuff is out there in the public arena and journalists do their own story without cutting and pasting someone else's work, that is the way it goes.
Even for Mr Moore.
Pot, kettle, black. Calling?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Michael for helping clarify what the issues are here in the coming Council elections. "The Cairns Post" has fallen down on its obligations to present ideas and stimulate debate.

Anonymous said...

We all know the Cairns Post is useless, it would disappoint me to think anyone actually looks to it for real news.

But, Michael, in your analysis of Council issues, you forget that your beloved Labor has taken all Planning and Development to a State Level, you know, communist style.

Maybe you need to start using your brain and typing fingers in proportion as well...?