Off the shelf
A few months back our reader may have noticed we mentioned the fact that Brisbane’s daily paper The Courier-Mail, like many of its hard-copy counterparts, has been having trouble filling its classified pages.
The problem has included the funeral and death notices page where these days individual notices are usually generously spaced to ensure at least a respectable fraction of a page looks like it has been supported with paid ads.
The other blatantly obvious ploy has been to insert an embarrassing number of in-house ads urging readers to take out ads on the page.
The problem of making the funeral and death notices page look like they are actually full was a little easier up until a few years back when staff cuts mean the Courier dropped its half-page obituary section.
This worthwhile feature gave space to mark the passing of average people in the community, not just the high-flyers who automatically secure an obit to detail their life and achievements.
Families or friends of the deceased could send in a tribute of around 500 words and a photo and in a little while there it appeared on the top of the page.
Now, as the lack of classifieds has grown worse, lo and behold the obituary feature has made a return.
Sadly, it is still blatantly obvious that its reappearance is aimed squarely at filling space, not to provide a community service.
That was obvious in Saturday’s Courier-Mail where the featured obit was for Gold Coast man Les Pensa (pictured) who died aged 80. Unfortunately, as the feature noted, Les died in May 2018.
It’s nice that Les’s life has been recognised. But we can’t help but feel poor Les’s story has been dug up, so to speak, as a handy space filler.
These days at election time media outlets outdo themselves in the race to bring readers the latest results and to declare winners and losers.
So it was that the ABC Online website was yesterday — and still today — promising “full results” from the Brisbane City Council elections (pictured).
Unfortunately for them, those running the election, the Electoral Commission of Queensland, hasn’t been able to deliver those results because of “technical issues”.
The problem is noted in a lead story on ABC Online for local readers and, to be fair, when you click through to the “full results” page there is a disclaimer from Aunty that squarely blames the ECQ for the stuff-up.
“The ABC hopes the ECQ can provide the feed to update the site from Sunday,” it adds before telling readers to try the ECQ website itself.