I sometimes get emails and comments about why I don’t automatically write about any local issue that appears in the commercial media. The answer is I write mainly to explore my own interests, and while I am interested in many local stories and issues, they are not all worthy of discussion. Not everything that may be considered by someone to be newsworthy is a newsworthy issue to me.

The recent impending auction or sale of the Rose hotel is the most recent such example. It began with an email from Paul (another one, from North Fitzroy, not the one from Bondi):

What can we do as loyal Fitzrovians to stop the horrible thought of apartments at the Rose? We cannot lose this pub! [link to Age article]

I replied:

Hi Paul,
Short of buying the pub there’s nothing anyone can do :-(

Paul replied:

Brian, I know that if you run a blog called Fitzroyalty, you must love the Roy as much as I do! There might not be much we can do to avert the Roy’s best pub becoming another goddamn beige tower, but I’m gonna try. There’s no point me complaining afterwards!

What are the chances of an entry on your next blog? This sale happens 27 April; next council meeting is this coming Tuesday, so there’s not much time to lose. If your fine readers would be good enough  to shoot an email to our friends at Yarra Council (NichollsWardCouncillors@yarracity.vic.gov.au) to speak up for local pubs (and down with developers getting their mitts on them), it might help with sending the message that the Rose is valued and any potential developers would be up for a fight.

“Last Drinks?”, The Age, Tuesday 10 April 2012. I’ve kicked off a book of faces group as well: “Don’t Close the Rose” Facebook group.

Many thanks for your time mate. I hope to be reading that blog soon!

I replied:

Hi Paul,

There’s no role for the City of Yarra in telling a property owner to continue running a pub in their building or letting it to a tenant who does. That’s their business. As residents we have no ‘right’ to social amenities like having pubs around the corner from our homes.

As property owners and ratepayers we can protest inappropriate redevelopment, but telling the City of Yarra that we would protest the redevelopment of the building won’t keep the pub open. Sorry but there’s no story here.

Paul replied:

Disagree. No point making the point after a developer buys it, Brian.
But thanks for the reply

Then he followed up with:

No story here then? [link to Age article]

I replied:

That’s a story, but not one I’m interested in. I’m not trying to compete with the Age. Resident opinion had no impact on this event, which was purely commercial.

Paul replied:

Once again – disagree! If one cares about Fitzroy, one does what one can to fight for what makes it Fitzroy. Even if that is only a very small “what”.

Or, I guess, one sticks to writing about what one had for lunch in Beechworth the other day. Which although tasty-looking, I must admit, featured on one blog that I can do without reading from now on, quite honestly.

I replied:

You don’t understand social media. The point is I write about whatever I want. Read it or not. I don’t care.

Some people simply don’t understand the relationship between content creators and consumers in the social media ecology. I create whatever I want to create. If you like it, good for you. If not, too bad. You are not paying me to inform or entertain you. Your pleasure in consuming my content is a potential consequence of my pleasure in creating it. That is all.

what makes a local news story?

2 thoughts on “what makes a local news story?

  • 18 May 2012 at 9:06 pm
    Permalink

    I may well steal your last few sentences for use in the future. I can understand where the commenter came from at first. He expected some passion about Fitzroy from you in the way he felt about Fitzroy. He would have done well to leave it alone after his initial approach.

    Reply
    • 18 May 2012 at 9:47 pm
      Permalink

      I have passion, but I try not to be naive. I think that was the cause of our disagreement. I don’t think that Paul’s ideals were at all practical and hence not worth supporting.

      Reply

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