Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What's for Lunch?

Newshound Mine Host, refers in this post, to the following newspapers:

Melbourne Argus
Queensland Country Life
Daily Telegraph
Sydney Morning Herald
Melbourne Age

Beat that! (for diversity)

Mine Host, an occassional visitor to the (very) big smokes of Sydney & Melbourne, has long & deeply loathed Fairfax newspapers The (Melbourne) Age & the Sydney Morning Herald.....

....because...... you can't read 'em on the train!

Printed on very large sized pages, reading them in the confines of a crowded commuter carriage is no easier than would be folding bed linen.

Good news arrives: These two newspapers shall, early next year, be turned from broadsheet into tabloid. The "able to read aboard trains" market, long the sole domain of the Telegraph or the Sun-Herald, shall finally have some diversity.

This change of page size brings to Mine Host's mind a previous occasion when a broadsheet switched to tabloid:

The major newspaper in Qld is the "Queensland Country Life" (excepting a narrow strip down the coast, this newspaper reigns supreme in Qld) These days a part of the Fairfax empire, QCL was at the time printed on second-hand presses purchased from a newspaper in the far south, the "Melbourne Argus".

For a generation or more, the rural folk of Queensland read about their engagements, obituaries, cattle prices, average yield of the mango crop, etc. on pretty much the same pages as those upon which the Argus had brought the news to generations of Melbourne residents. For reasons that shall become apparent below, those broadsheet pages are fondly recalled by rural Queenslanders who handled them.

Occasional reader, fair dinkum newspaperman, and Melbourne local Bernie Slattery may chime in, on comments below, to give a brief report about the Argus - with focus on the printing press of course.

When the Argus presses reached the end of their economic life, the QCL switched to what is now known as "tabloid" size.

Oh Boy! This change of press size brought plenty of negative reader feedback.

The new smaller sized "Country Life" irritated readers, complaints were many in number, vehement in emphasis!

..... for it transpired that in rural Queensland, where they know what they really want in a newspaper, the new tabloid sized pages were "too small" to wrap a cut lunch properly.

Update: Definition of a "Cut Lunch" (prompted by Dave from Tacoma, in comments)

A "Cut Lunch" is a fulfilling & adequate lunch
For which the consumption of requires no cutlery or crockery
Is prepared at the same time as breakfast
Is carried with one to work, school, the factory, office, wherever
Is of a sufficient robustness to withstand knockabout treatment.
Is cut to size so as to fit into one's saddlebag, lunchbox, or other container.

Usually this is sandwiches (& perhaps some fruit and/or cake).

I'm certain the concept, if not the name, is well known to Dave & other Americans.


Boy on a bike said...

Is it anything like "Horse and Hound"?

Steve at the Pub said...

Boab: In your great state of NSW the rural newspaper is "The Land". It is an identical twin to the Queensland Country Life.
The content is exactly the same style, the only difference being that it is NSW specific content & news.

DAve from Tacoma said...

OK, you have us Americans interested. What, pray tell, is a "cut lunch"?

Boy on a bike said...

Do you read "Horse and Hound"?

Steve at the Pub said...

Boab: Except for your two comments above, I've never heard of "Horse & Hound"