Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood

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Busytown: No news is good news

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  • stephen walker,

    oh no! a young woman in my office got that exact same haircut the other week. and that cat looks suspiciously like the one that tries to attack me most days...

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 646 posts Report

  • Jolisa,

    Oops, my bad. It's not still being published; that's a fansite. Good stuff though: is it just me, or is that gal on the very first annual cover pretty much a young Donna Noble?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report

  • Jolisa,

    and that cat looks suspiciously like the one that tries to attack me most days...

    Run, Stephen, run! It's destroyed everything in its path... now it wants... YOU!

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report

  • richard,


    I am guessing the bunko-bon fraction was not much different when I lived in Tokyo (mid 90s).

    And the sleeping. The only people you see sleeping on New York subways are drunks. You could probably turn that into a thousand words of filler on the degree of comfort felt by the average Japanese commuter, relative to their American counterparts, all the while ignoring the sarin-jiken of 1995...

    Not looking for New Engla… • Since Nov 2006 • 268 posts Report

  • JackElder,

    Want a biscuit?

    Depends. What sort of biscuit?

    We used to have a dog that begged for apple cores. And beer. He was a good dog.

    I should point out that I am not, as far as I know, a dog. But then - that's just what I'd say if I was, isn't it?

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 709 posts Report

  • Jo S,

    @ richard

    I think it may depend on where in the states you are.
    I generally see a sizable number of people sleeping on the light rail on the way to the uni in the morning in Denver.

    is it autumn yet? • Since May 2007 • 80 posts Report

  • stephen walker,

    @ richard

    Aum sure gave yoga a bad name here, but i can report that we are in the midst of a huge yoga boom.
    25 years ago, newspapers would have outnumbered bunko-bon, but i think the book reading has made a strong recovery lately. and magazines are overpriced and mostly crap too. although Recruit have done a big business in getting fee papers established here.

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 646 posts Report

  • GemmaG,

    Wow, while our brother was meeting his future wife via the pages of Misty, Jolisa and I were unwittingly being exposed to floppy-haired future film stars, such as Julian Sands and Hugh Grant.

    I say forget about newspapers, bring back photo love stories!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 45 posts Report

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    Great piece, and yes, there is a lamentation to be held over the loss of the physical nature of newspapers.

    But, in the end, the fucken asses at Granny Herald dug their own fucken grave and I'll gladly pay to give the last shove. That paper was orientated to the one small demographic - Anthony Riley, and fuck anyone else, or everyone else was reduced to being amusing side shows in the lifestyle section.

    Well, even Mr Riley has to die sometimes, and what do you know... there's a void out there - Granny has not only lost me, but virutally anyone with a brain, and that's a fair whack of us, who, most pointedly, are NOT mini-Anthony Rileys, nor could ever want to be.

    In saying this I'm aware that I'm performing a lament of my own here. It's a lament for what Granny could have been, and a lament for the immenent loss of an institution, but in performing that lament, I also recognise that, well, things change.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Hey look, with superb timing, aversion therapy for the both of us tonight at 8:30pm!

    In the hopefully unlikely event that I am ever hunted down by police dogs, one of two things will happen: the police will find me huddled on the ground in a catatonic state about thirty seconds later, or I'll go nuts and try to bludgeon the dogs to death. I know which is the best survival strategy, but the odds are probably fifty/fifty as to which would happen.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report

  • Matt Nippert,

    Getting back to the start of Jolisa's post, noting the decline of Seattle's Post-Intelligencer , there's a column from Dave Barry on the same subject that gives - perhaps - cryptic reference to the state of the media in this part of the world.

    Atop the Post-Intelligencer building is a rotating 10m diameter globe. It's rusted, to be sure, but still spinning. Metaphors aplenty for journalism perhaps - but P-I managing editor Dave McCumber notes some parts of his neon world have fared worse than others:

    “There’s a hole in New Zealand,” Mr. McCumber said.


    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21 posts Report

  • Matt Nippert,

    Ahem. Jolisa actually linked to the closure of the Tuscon Citizen . It's a double tragedy, really: the obituary pages are getting swamped, and there's hardly anyone left writing for them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    The New Haven Independent is choice!

    Leading a story like this with a YouTube clip right on the homepage works well.

    I quite liked the look of the Advocate's website too. All most of us see from the US are the big flagship papers, which I find oddly unsatisfying compared to, say, The Guardian. It'd be nice to see some city papers while they last ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Carlos,

    trying to fathom its cartoons, most of them about sex and banking

    Either you meant "banking OR sex" or I'm in banking in the wrong part of the world.

    Anyhoo, I was intrigued recently to experience a few weeks at home with the olds where the Herald plays a big role in the daily ritual, whereas my normal routine is 100% digital news.
    The major difference I noticed was how often the print ads got me thinking I needed to buy some good or service I didn't realised I was missing.
    Maybe the switch the switch from print newspapers and broadcast TV to the interweb and digital entertainment is playing a subtle role in the current swing away from consumerism.

    CPH.DK • Since Mar 2009 • 27 posts Report

  • TracyMac,

    To answer Jolisa's question, I can't vouch for the buggy whip makers, but there are definitely _stock whip_ makers in Australia who have a "secondary line" in other interesting items. There was even one selling some less overt items (wrist cuffs and the like) next to his handtooled belts at the last Murrumbateman Field Day (Murrumbateman is like the Canberran version of Kumeu 10 years ago. Tichy, on the highway to somewhere else, but some wineries scattered around the area and a cafe or two to eat at).

    As for local news in non-printed media, I think outfits like _The Stranger_ do a good job. For an alternative mag that was just about local Seattle news, they've made a pretty graceful transition to their online presence (although the printed mag still has different content). And they also have Dan Savage.

    Community papers have always done better when there has been some good editorial vision - like Pat Booth in whatever local rag it was. I can see that kind of thing evolving in an online presence as well - smaller scale Arianna Huffingtons, perhaps.

    As for newspaper delivery, I'm afraid I don't have fond memories of waking up at 4:30am to deliver 200 papers (it was the Courier) before 7 in the middle of winter for $4.20. That wasn't much even in 1983. One older lady gave me fruit occasionally, and another one gave me a hot pie. That was pretty much it for the positives.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report

  • Amy Gale,

    Amy, this is a pretty accurate example of what he's talking about, I think.

    That's not "a girl from a Misty story"! That's Misty! Your brother married Misty!

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report

  • Jolisa,

    You're right - she is Misty and I have the wedding photos to prove it. Lucky feller.

    I'm still goggling at the young George Michael in Gemma's photo-story link. "The girls around here certainly have improved since I left!" The genre is definitely overdue for a comeback.

    And yes, Matt, the Seattle P-I was very much on my mind, along with the Rocky Mountain News and all the others. That is a classic Dave Barry. (How ironic that he is also the anecdotal heart of Clay Shirky's argument.)

    @Carlos: so true about the ads. I found myself thinking the same thing while reading the Herald - ooh, need a new washing machine, ooh that's a nice couch, even though I didn't actually live in Auckland. (Is the corollary that we aren't even glancing at the online ads? Shhh, don't tell the advertisers).

    @Tracymac: Pat Booth in the Manukau Courier - he was worth reading, for sure. Even if you didn't agree with him. And yes to Dan Savage, national treasure even when he's wrong or silly.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report

  • Newsprint,

    Jolisa and I were unwittingly being exposed to floppy-haired future film stars, such as Julian Sands

    I can't believe they said he was of "24 fame" when everyone knows he is George Emerson.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 42 posts Report

  • Kerry Weston,

    Well, the DomPost is free on Massey campuses now - do they think they can snatch back an audience? I notice alot more students reading it waiting for lecture rooms to free up etc.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report

  • giovanni tiso,

    Well, the DomPost is free on Massey campuses now - do they think they can snatch back an audience?

    Same at Victoria, but my understanding was that it was the university who had bought the requisite subscriptions (although possibly at a discounted price) rather than a promotional move on the part of the paper.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Same at Victoria, but my understanding was that it was the university who had bought the requisite subscriptions (although possibly at a discounted price) rather than a promotional move on the part of the paper.

    They usually put out the Press free for a month or so every year here, and I know that's a promotional move, because it's loaded with "student subscription" advertising - a stupid, stupid idea if ever I saw one, because yes, it's cheaper, but only because they only give you the paper in term-time. Really, why bother?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report

  • alan C,

    That sound you wondered whether anyone heard is the thud of unsold newpapers being dumped at the recycling centre. Or is it the rustle of junk mail flapping down the street in a westerly? Newspapers can survive a bit longer yet in New Zealand, but only if they drill deeper and become relevant to their communities again.

    nelson • Since Mar 2009 • 3 posts Report

  • Lea Barker,

    Here is a link to a news conference given yesterday by reporters who lost their jobs when the Denver Rocky Mountain News was recently closed down. They are launching their own online news website, and if they get 50,000 subscribers at $4.99 a month by 23 April, it will become a reality:

    In the meantime, they continue publishing at http://www.iwantmyrocky.com/

    Oakland, CA • Since Nov 2006 • 45 posts Report

  • Judy Spencer,

    That's the trouble with the internet blogs versus print newspaper; internet waffle abounds.

    Print newspaper you should be able to trust but there's just waffle in them because the major newspapers have been brought and paid for by the extreme right.

    You may be surprised how few people actually look at important issues, especially on the internet or in blogs. It will improve but not quickly enough.

    All we need is an A3 4 page daily newspaper.

    There could be several individual daily papers - a political newspaper as below, a sports newspaper, an employers' newspaper, an employees' newspaper - endless opportunities. You pay for what you want. (Much like under this government you will be charged for every km you travel on the road, which is why this government is so keen to permanently disable any vision for a 21st century KiwiRail.)

    Daily Contents for a political newspaper: let me see,

    Front page Parliament picture of all MPs present, with apple-shaped speech bubbles on their heads giving their contribution.

    Pages 2,3,6,7 filled with fact articles, not misinformation.

    Middle page 4 Jobs section and page 5 would be a non-sue letters page on a first in gets printed, not an editor cherry picking for her/his own political agenda.

    Page 8 - the weather, the current status of NZ companies' profits and layoffs and the foreign investment companies' profits, layoffs infrastructural improvements and money exported overseas.

    Price - 50c a copy if that stacked up against the expenses.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2008 • 23 posts Report

  • Islander,

    I've given up buying the Christchurch 'Press' (after 40 years.) I've given up buying the 'Greymouth Star' (after 35 years.) I share a subscription for the ODT with my mother (she copies the codecrackers but leaves the rest intact, and sends a pile over once a fortnight.) After I've zoomed through them with my trusty cutter, they tend to go to neighbours, who are making new garden beds.

    I dont miss the physicality of the other papers at all. They're combersomely large; they dont automatically increase their type size;
    they're full of crap I dont want to read *at all* (helloooo, fashion/sports/tv/advertising pages!) and most of the interesting stuff I can get on-line anyway...

    In South Westland, there are 3 little giveaway papers - SW Scene , comes out occaisionally(aimed largely at loopies but with some local news articles); SW Timex, comes out weekly, more local news, and relevant local ads, and "Community Contact", put together by a team of volunteers and supported by donations from local groups, which contains very local SW newsas in from Ross south (including a newsletter from the local cop, and local DoC), and minimal ads. There is very little opinionisng; just rather general reports of local activities & events. The last is A4-sized, the other 2 A5.

    Way the newsprint scene is going?

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report

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