Thursday 12 February 2009

Alexander the Grate

The Cairns Post is getting a new editor, and it's Gavin King. Joking, just wanted you to choke on your cornflakes.

Mark Alexander heads back to his home State of Victoria to take on a chief of staff's role for News Ltd. Alexander moved to Cairns in late 2006, after managing Brisbane's Sunday Mail. He replaced Scott Thompson, who took up the editor in chief of Quest newspapers in Brisbane.

Mark infamously said, early in his tenure, that "great newspapers are champions of the community they are part of, celebrating and sharing the successes and triumphs." It's time for the community to judge if he was successful in this mantra. There's no doubt he was a great success at the commercialising and the profit and advertising-driven focus of the paper for the last two years.

I've been a vocal debater of the Cairns Post over the last couple of years under Mark's stewardship. I called into question when adverts appeared as stories, and when they continue to use the front page (and page 3), for full page photo of bikini-clad minors. So demeans the paper whose job, in Mark's own words, is to be a champion of the community

His replacement for the Cairns Post is Andrew Webster, editor of the Innisfail Advocate, who will put his feet under the desk in Abbott Street in a week on February 16th, the same day Gavin King returns to work.

Let's hope that Webster, being a local, may be more likely to try and promote the city in these difficult economic times rather than drag it down to the lowest common denominator. I mean, KB's gone, hasn't he?

Will Webster ditch the ever degrading titty girls? Will he have coffee with Val? Probably, he was spotted having lunch with her yesterday. Will be embrace the growing stable of independent blogs and other media in this town? Time will tell.

Regardless of editorial difference, I sincerely wish Mark and his family all the best in the bush fire capital and hope that he finds peace in his early retirement in Melbourne, the penultimate gay capital of Australia.

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