Heading: “Woman buys house in South Canterbury with enough room for backyard cattery.”
This heart-attack inducing news in Stuff’s eyes, warranted four photographs and a lengthy story.
Was the woman planning to cook the cats and start a restaurant I wondered? It’s feasible. Nearly half a century ago I lived on cat-fried rice when snow-bound in the Andes for 3 days. Mind you, I didn’t learn that until after the event. But no, nothing like that. Instead brace yourself – for once Stuff got it right. She was starting a bloody cattery.
How could the editors possibly think this screaming non-event constituted news? Still, it got me thinking and being a newspaper addict and thus owning dozens of bound volumes of English and New Zealand newspapers of yesteryear going back to the mid 19th century, I researched the difference between today’s trivia-packed newspapers and yesteryears’ news-packed newspapers. The first stand-out difference was the loss of their former biggest money-earner, namely classified advertisements which once ran over as much as eight or more pages.
The other difference soon became clear. Hitherto actual news stories were dealt with in depth.Today it’s once over lightly and instead, telling us about a woman opening a cattery.