Sunday, November 20, 2016


 Newsagents  driven  to  drink ?  
While  staying in  Townsville  for  any length   of  time , this blogger oft slips into the  Kokoda  Memorial  Pool  to  splash about  in the  water  like a  duckbill platypus  and  , importantly, buy the Townsville  Bulletin  from  the  office/kiosk  early in   the morning .  Imagine  my  dismay  when   two  weeks  ago  I was   told  that  the  paper  has  not  been sold   there  for  some considerable  time because it  was  not  financially  worth   the  trouble.

Another sign of  shrinking  newspaper  outlets in Townsville  is the  disappearance  or   downsizing  of  newsagencies . One  outlet, below, with the  catchy  name   Victory  Newsagency , in Charters Towers Road , attracted  my  attention  some months  go  .  Why  Victory ? Could it have been started  up at  the  end of World War ll ? If  so , could  be  a  story here . Took a  photo and  put  it on the mile long  list  of  potential yarns  to be followed up .
Without warning , the newsagency just disappeared ... apparently swallowed  up  by  an  extension  to  the  Hermit  Park   Hotel .

Seeking a  newspaper at  the  large  Stockland  shopping centre , I  went to the  usual  newsagent's site  only  to  be confronted by  huge  signs announcing it is being  converted into a  Commonwealth  Bank office .  Across  the  way , in a much smaller  shop , was  the newsagency, called  Lucky Charm   ,  highlighting  lottery  tickets  and   scratchies,   newspapers  tucked  away  at  the  rear  of  the  premises  on  a  small  stand .  In  2014  the  large newsagency   got  a  big write up in the Townsville  Bulletin  over  the  fact that it had  sold so  many winning tickets.  
At  another  smaller suburban  centre the  newsagent  had apparently folded  his paper tent  and  departed . Long ago , this  blog pointed  out  that  the  local paper was no longer sold  at  the Townsville  ferry  terminal where  many  thousands of people  transit  and  that  the Townsville  Bulletin appeared to have  a  circulation problem .  
The Townsville Bulletin has been running a  massive advertising  campaign , offering  a range of inducements( other Murdoch papers, magazines , access to Fox Sport, an e-book , rewards , and  digital access galore ) , to sign up. The more people who go  digital  means  the  demand  for    hard   copies  drops  in   newsagencies . 
When  it  comes to  newspaper  circulation   figures,  the  global decline in newspaper   readership   has  resulted in  a  new term: lies, damned lies and rubbery readership statistics. Newspapers periodically issue  baffling , smarmy- like statements about  the  latest  circulation figures  in which  they   have a   formula  which  basically  says    we love yuz all   because    readership  ( miraculously )   has  jumped  so  high  that  it  hit  the   first  dog  on  the  moon.Often  as  not, the  actual figures are not included ,  just claimed  percentage  increases.

The Townsville  Bully  recently  ran  a  startling circulation  report    headed BULLETIN GROWTH  TOPS NATION ,  which featured " stars "  of  The Block , Caro  and  Kingi Tahan , described  as  news  hounds.  Caro  was  actually  reading   a  hard  copy   of  the   paper  and  Kingi   was    doing  something with a  digit.
As it is always  the  dangerous  nesting  season  as  far as the Townsville Bulletin is  concerned , the Townsville   Magpie, aka Malcolm Weatherup, a  former  Bulletin  top reporter  , immediately  swooped   into attack  in  his blog  and  pecked the  eyes   out  of  the  circulation  story , in  the process  giving  the  editor  another  working  over . 

YE  OLDE STOP PRESS : Nationwide News Pty Ltd , publisher of The Australian , has been ordered  to pay Townsville journalist  Malcolm Weatherup  $100,000   for defamation  in its Media section  in 2014.The Townsville Bulletin carried a  small P10 report  on  the Supreme Court   ruling .  See previous related   post this blog April 26 NEW  QUEENSLAND MEDIA MOGUL  LIKELY AFTER  COURT  FINDING ?