Friday, 10 July 2009

Cairns dot com dot au gets a muck over

"Cairns' favourite online news source comes of age," exclaims the Cairns Post headline.

And the creative journalism doesn't end there. Oh no.

"Kids - they grow up so fast! One minute they're learning how to walk, and the next they're smashing their own records for daily page hits," the nameless article states.

In a deliberate decision, the Cairns Post has redesigned the front end of their website. There's now almost no news on the main page, you need to go hunting for it - a bit like the print edition.

Unlike its parent site News.com.au, where the news and stories written by churnalists feature front and centre, the decision to hide stories in the depths of the Cairns Post website, is a mystery.

There was a very good reason why the local tablewd purchased Cairns.com.au, registered under Cairns Digital Media, a couple of years ago. In preference to CairnsPost.com.au, which many locals cringed typing into internet browser each morning, the new name was to capture international web surfers, therefore the website was totally refocused for the tourist, not the locals.

Under Mark Alexander's business leadership, the former editor reputedly convinced News Ltd to pay over $100,000 for the domain name. The strategy, like all websites, is to attract hits and gain visits. When there's precious little online written content, besides a raft of tourist information, tons of repeated reader pix to fill the photo galleries, and a handful of sanctioned and moderated reader comments posted below the few stories posted, usually from the same folk that call Mackenzie for a moan every other day, you go hungry for more.

Gaining the "Cairns" domain name was to drive hits, there's no doubt about that. But do visitors stay and explore and read what the local rag has to say about our community? Not really. Talking with some of the folk inside the Abbott Street bunker, web visitor trends is substantial, but they stay for less than two minutes, and the over-whelming number hit the site from outside Cairns. They like clicking on the pretty pictures.

"The Cairns Post's own little bundle of joy, cairns.com.au, turned two years old only a few months ago and is already undergoing a significant re-development," the online editorial says. "We're tearing a few things down in order to build them back up again," the Cairns Post says. "We're developing new features and sections across our real estate, visitor information, entertainment and advertising sections to deliver our local audience and advertisers a website they can proudly continue to call their own."

There's no mention of the news.

The clear focus is now on revenue and commercial advertising. The real estate section has halved in size over the last year as many surf the net themselves. The Cairns Eye has gone from weekly to monthly, staff cuts have occurred, and Gavin King has left. Blog-lover Damon Guppy is the new Chief of Staff, a great improvement.

When you have six full page adverts in the first few 'local pages' you now where their focus is. And two days in a row we get a full page advertising bananas! They are heavily discounting the usual $3,500 per page cost.

"Today's only the beginning," the Post claims, "over the next few months we'll be introducing new and improved features, but for now you can continue to enjoy all the best news, photo galleries and visitor information you've come to expect from the world's favourite source of Far North Queensland information," the sycophantic pr spin signs off.

You can repaint the front door, move the furniture around, but it will take a lot more than a digital Richie Stevens to provide real local opinion that represents our diverse region and welcomes debate that our community feels is transparent, honest, and open to differing viewpoints. When the Cairns Post ceases to slander community leaders and residents and act like a responsible contributor to the region in which we all reside, then and only then, can they be welcomed as part of our community.

37 comments:

Jerry said...

I'm not sure what your talking about, i can still find the news there no problem. Then again i still have a fully functional brain.
I've been a local in Cairns for 48 years and I dont think The Cairns Post is perfect by anymeans, but it's a slight bit better than the defamitory rubbish that gets published on here.

I servealy doubt that NewsLTD would of paid that much for a URL that they would of had an intellectual property right to anyways. And so what if they did? And so what if they make money from the paper, the website or the sale of cookies? I dont know anyone who is in business who doesn't need to make money so they can pay their staff etc. I guess all the money you get from advertising you spend of feeding the poor in Africa?

Saying that, i do enjoy reading the defamitory dribble on here, its good for a laugh. I come here daily to be amused.

Far as i can see cairns.com.au is a local website helping promote the local region, be it with news or with information about the region. How dare they try and bring tourists in here to help the economy, how dare they employ local webdesigners and developers to make their site.
Cairnsblog you've swung so far to the left that you make NewsLtd look fair and balanced.

Your rant just seems like sour grapes to me, i'd like to see you do better, and from what i see here, it aint even close buddy.

Mark said...

You're a bitter little bugger aren't you? This is just about you being angry that no one would hire you as a "proper" journalist

nocturnal congress said...

I laughed like crazy when I read of Murdoch's falling sales and profits.

Jerry said...

Excellent, laugh like crazy at all the staff he's laying off as well.

Hahaha hard working people are loosing jobs hahaha

laugh it up champ

nocturnal congress said...

I do Jerry, I do. For the record, Murdoch sacked thousands of journalists around the world in the 1990s in order to duplicate stories taken off the internet ie one writer in New York writes one story which is then published all over his media empire. In all his newspapers and magazines he increased the advertising content at the expense of editorial content. Well, his greed has been to his undoing. People are Jack of the sensationalised lies, mis-information, infotainment, tits and bums everywhere and pages and pages of advertisements.

Syd Walker said...

Hi Jerry

Your blogger profile isn't working. You might like to fix that as you are apparently attempting to identify yourself.

One question: Why does News Ltd have "an intellectual property right" to the domain name 'cairns.com.au'?

Do you believe News Ltd has a similar 'right' to primary domain names for all the towns in which it exercises media dominance, worldwide?

Finally, if you are to repeatedly claim that CairnsBlog is defamatory, why not learn to spell the word correctly? Nothing worse that a semi-literate News Corp apologist. People might suspect you're on the payroll :-)

Jerry said...

Noc, still waiting for you to make a valid point? Let me know when you’ve stopped laughing at the misfortune of those who have families and have been made redundant.

Syd, i suggest you look up the rules and regulations regarding URL farming.
It is 'The Cairns Post' that has the intellectual right to cairns.com.au not newsltd. It is illegal to farm web address that aren't related to you business. From what i've seen in the past(as someone trying to acquire sites with cairns in them) there was an individual who had bought up a lot of cairns related URLS and was trying to sell them to the highest bidder. That is now illegal.

I might not be able to spell defamatory properly, but i can see that The Cairns Post has Cairns as part of its trading name. Check out the facts next time so i don’t have to spend 5 mins explaining and spell checking my reply...

I'm not defending Newsltd, I’m just sick of people who can't see further than their own personal bias. You are mirroring the behaviour of the NewsLTD you so detest.

P.S. picking up on someone’s spelling is the digital blog equivalent of a ‘fat joke’ or a ‘your mumma’ joke..... it’s what people revert to when their arguments are weak..

nocturnal congress said...

Jerry, the valid point is that people are sick and tired of the lies, mis-information, and rubbish Murdoch is foisting on us in order for him to personally make more millions $$$.
The internet has seen the spectacular growth of alternate media and people are heading there in droves. Even you are now reading blogs.

Jerry said...

I read blogs and i enjoy reading blogs, i'm not defending Murdock, I am saying stop a second and thing about the people who are suffering because of the drop in NewsLTD revenue. He isn't suffering at all, the people are the coal face are.
So when you laugh at NewsLTD's drop in revenue, your laughing at the people who are actually suffering.
Its the equivalent of saying 'Saddam Hussein is a bad man, the people of Iraq need to suffer because of that'. You were for the Iraq war?

Syd Walker said...

Jerry

I feel a measure of sympathy for anyone who loses their job, some cases more than others.

Jobs at News Corp definitely fall into the 'others' category for me. It was also a shame when all those folk in the Stasi lost their jobs.

As for Murdoch, I feel no desire to see him suffer. I would, however, like him stripped of power to do any more evil. A quarter century of promoting wars is enough, don't you think?

RupertsRightHand said...

My, don't some of us have our bonnet of sanctimony on today.

nocturnal congress said...

Jerry, Murdoch hasn't given a stuff about his staff over the years. He ruined Fleet Street in the 1970s when he broke the union, and changed the tabloids from the world's best reportage to scandal rags. Frankly, I laughed when I read how a Chinese opportunist with an unsavoury background ambushed him when he was vulnerable and is now dictating how his empire will be split up after his demise.

Jan from Kewarra said...

The scandal in Britain involing Mr Murdoch's rag should ring the alarm bells for everyone in Australia about the lengths modern media will go to get a news scoop, and then for official gatekeeper's not to take legal action, because Rupert would tie them up legally for the next 20 years and deplete government coffers so that these bastards remain free to ruin people's lives by invading their privacy so blatantly and illegally and then exposing them for all the world to read.

Everyone shoud question as to whether the Murdoch press go to the same lengths here in Australia?

Why would they not be?

Thaddeus said...

Murdoch may well have met his female nemesis. By all accounts it will be verrrrry interesting to watch the family fireworks when he expires.

Pat Macquarie said...

You hate the Cairns Post.
You hate its website.
You hate the people who work there.
You hate the company that owns it.
You hate the tycoon who runs that company.
You hate the council.
You hate its mayor.
You hate its ex-mayor.
You hate its ex-CEO.
You hate its radio publicity.
You hate John Mackenzie.
You hate the US.
You hate the US military.
You hate its ships.
You hate its policies.
You hate its soldiers and sailors.

How do you feel about yourself?

Barry Daniels said...

Thanks Pat, I chose about 25% of your list and I feel "GREAT", Thanks

KitchenSlut said...

I could only seriously identify with one of the list so not sure how I should feel?

However, any negativity was counteracted by the inclusion of John Mackenzie and that always gives me a big enough belly laugh on its own to make me feel great :)

Clifton Ghost said...

Re Pat Macquarie's comments,

oh you forgot one, you ninny...

We hate Sno Bonneau too!

Thaddeus said...

I only have strong objections over some of the USA's decisions, and Rupert Murdoch's greed. As for all the others on Macquarie's list, well...ho hum and "**Burrrrrp***. 'scuse me.

Jerry said...

Back on topic ladies. I'd love to continue discussing the ins and outs of your 'great Satan' but, I commented originally to express my view that Mikes article was basically a bitter and twisted jibe at the folks of cairns.com.au, whom i don’t think do a bad job.
In fact i'd go as so far as say that it's one of the best websites (as far as design goes) in Cairns. I see a lot of crappy sites in the job that i do, so it’s refreshing to see locals doing something that’s up there with anything that capital cities have to offer. I think it does a great job to promote Cairns and tourism (which in turn keeps out local economy going and keeps us all in jobs).
I’d love to continuing debating NewsLTD but I’m only interested in debating the article itself, and throwing around the ‘you say positive things about NewsLTD he must be love Rupert Murdock and be the editor of The Cairns Post’ is ridiculous and childish. I’m talking about cairns.com.au not NewsLTD as a whole. If it’s not possible to have a reasonable debate, well I’ll pack up my speedos and give up my career as a blog commenter.

nocturnal congress said...

Yeah Jerry, the website does promote tourism, it does that. No confusion by the Editor there about his job, tits and bums and all.
Thank Christ for "cairnsblog" which is developing into the role of news portal for the area.

Jerry said...

*badoooom ching*

Theobald Naracoorte said...

News portal for the area? Are you serious? This is a portal for semi-literate, salacious gossip at best. There is nothing even remotely credible about this blog.
The only posts with any reasonable content are those that quote - ad nauseum, I might add - from mind-numbingly boring "official" documents.
I should add that I love coming to this blog, if only to see Moore continue to make a fool of himself. His attempts to position himself as some kind of moral gatekeeper for Cairns is laughable, and is made even worse by his appalling prose.
Credit to Moore for allowing the failed, bitter journalist comment from earlier to go live, though. That must've stung a bit.

Arthur Festerbestertester said...

That'd be ad nauseam, Theo me old cobber (you wouldn't be a Compost journalist, by any chance?)

Theobald Naracoorte said...

Well met, comrade Arthur - I should've run straight to Google as well. My Latin is clearly not what it used to be!

Jerry said...

Yes everyone who doesn't share the same view as you is a ComPost jounro. I also killed Michael Jackson and I was the one who wouldn't let Nate Myles use my toilet.........
Grow up.

KitchenSlut said...

oops! excuse me for being off topic and off blog but I think Festerbestertester I may have found a creole chicken stir fry style recipe to match your criteria!?

nocturnal congress said...

Hehe, I detect the same ole same ole spelling mistakes from someone using different nics to post comments......

Thaddeus said...

Thank you Jerry for that public confession. I've passed it on to the POTUS, CIA, FBI Mr Joe Jackson and the very Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Jerry said...

Noc, do you by any chance sleep with an aluminium hat on, so the CIA wont steal your thoughts?

Arthur Festerbestertester said...

i'm more a dictionary person, theo.

but you shouldn't have to look up something like that whether you have latin or not.

and google is not what i would describe as a primary reference.

i suspect that google, and wikipedia, might be part of the problem at the compost.

there probably isn't an Oxford in the place, or an in-house library.

another might be that all the staff are kiddies with very limited life experience.

journalists do live in a cosseted, closed and unreal world, where rupert-think and rupert-profits are all that matter.

whatever the case, it's a sad, sad world.

Blogster said...

What worries me, is the impression tourists get of Cairns by reading the Cairns Post web site and the bogan comments on the news articles. IMO, the Council should have purchased that name, not for the political side of things, but to promote the town in general. Though, 100k for a domain name sounds excessive to me.

KitchenSlut said...

I'm looking through the initial reports on State of Origin tonight on major news services and strangely .... any mention of Steve Price and his carry off in a neck brace which led to a nasty ending is absent ..... so far?

I hope he is OK an outstanding individual within that field as a human being who deserves the best I think?

Arthur Festerbestertester said...

a bit off topic, kitchen, but nevertheless ...

that's what u get when you play a team coached by craig bellamy.

sly stuff around the tackles, behind the play king hits, grapple tackles, eye surgery, deliberate attempts to dislocate arms and legs.

he's famous for it, and it is no credit to meninga that he didn't instruct his team to protect each other fro the start.

and meninga should have know it was coming.

the Origin 2 use of has-been, disposable hack Trent Barrett to take out Inglis when he was on the ground and not looking was a typical Bellamy play and a clear signal of what was coming.

KitchenSlut said...

Thanks Fester and yes is somewhat off topic but is also relevant?

Your comments are posibly apt and wont go into detailed football analysis however I did once attend a BHP coporate leadership event where ex-bronco coach Wayne Bennett was a star. Excellent,and will always recall his advice to keep things simple and not complicate someone like Wendall Sailor with anything more than "Wendall, when you catch the ball, RUN!"

Arthur Festerbestertester said...

indeed. i found both bennett bros to be fine human beings after meeting them in another life. i also found wayne bennett to have an exellent, riesling-dry sense of humor - he is certainly not the humorless automaton the media makes him out to be.

Premdas said...

FOX, now alphabetically/numerically, F = 6, O = 15 = 6 and X = 24 = 6.

So FOX = 666 = guess who?

'Tis why we choose Cairns Blog as Cairns doth cum dodgey hey you are scum and liars. Plutocratic automatons for central bankers come to cheat and rob us and not make us happy. The sort of cheats and liars that promote a sausage sizzle for cancer awareness when everyone knows snags are cancer. Cairns Post pushes this drivel as the Australian way with every announcement labeled 'a shot in the arm'. Never buy a Murdoch 666 newspaper again and be happy. Every dollar for him is another dead soldier.