A matter of local taste

Ever since News Crap Australia shut a raft of its turdbloid newspapers in regional centres across the nation, those that remain have been the subject of some efficiency measures such as sharing centrally produced “national” news pages.

There are usually only very minor variations in the page that runs in what we assume are dozens of papers across the nation.

It must certainly be a challenge for the poor sods who put the page together to decide what to include and what to leave out, especially when they know the same page will run in vastly different local markets.

Take for example a story earlier this week that appeared in all of the four remaining News Corp hard-copy daily papers in Queensland. (main picture)

It was an upbeat yarn about a teenage boy who calmly rang Triple-0 when his younger sister experienced difficulty breathing.

He followed the treatment instructions given by the emergency response operator and relayed them to his mum who assisted her daughter until an ambulance arrived.

A nice little story, and well worth reporting. But it all happened in Victoria – we don’t know exactly where because that’s the only location the story disclosed.

We’re not sure how much interest there was in the story for readers of the Gold Coast Bulletin, or The Chronicle in Toowoomba, let alone the Cairns Post or Townsville Bulletin.

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The concept of running template pages extends to the “world” section in regional News Crap turdbloids.

But we noticed today that there is obviously some room for local papers to exercise some discretion in what appears on the page.

As usual, today all of Rupert’s regional turdbloids in Queensland ran a foreign news page with common content.

Except for one small story at the bottom of the page about the marital woes of Prince Albert of Monaco and his wife, the former South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock. (pictured)

The couple wed a decade ago but the short story told us all about the stresses and strains their union was under courtesy of Prince Albert philandering.

Most News Corp turdbloids ran the story under the headline “Amorous Albert is no ‘charming’ prince” except the normally staid Toowoomba paper The Chronicle which used the heading “Mad-rooting prince is far from ‘charming’”. (pictured)

So, as we noted earlier, despite the centrally produced template pages there is obviously some discretion that can be exercised on content among News Crap papers, although perhaps in this case discretion is not the correct word.

Given that The Chronicle still runs a daily Bible thought on its letters page, we wonder what job the person responsible for the Prince Albert heading is looking for this morning.