As Crikey wrote last Friday, even the most casual reader of Australian newspaper websites will have noticed the explosion of blogs as online editors embrace connectivity and bleed their staff writers white. The growth has been almost viral.

As promised, here’s an explosion of taste tests from the News Limited smorgasblog:

The Australian

  • Last week my favourite legal rag, Lawyers Weekly , quoted judge B.T. Sully in his farewell address to the NSW Supreme Court: “Proposals for law reform these days normally start with people who are single-issue obsessives; or people who have an unwholesome ambition for personal power or aggrandisement; or people who, to speak frankly … are unstable.” Janet Abrechtsen, Janet Abrechtsen Blog
  • Talkback radio celebrated its 40th anniversary this week: sufficient cause to look at the balance sheet of a medium that has been described as “the entertainment phenomenon of the millennium”. — Mark Day, Mark Day Blog

  • I’ve spent the day walking around the Virginia Tech campus talking to students — those able to speak. — Geoff Elliot, Geoff Elliot Blog

  • What happens when criminal behaviour meets medical privacy? Three men – two in Victoria and one in South Australia, have been accused of intentionally spreading HIV. Another man is under police investigation in Victoria. In both states the health departments were aware of risky behave, but didn’t call in the police. The reason? Reportedly there were concerns about privacy of rights of the individuals involved. — Gary Hughes, Gotcha with Gary Hughes Blog

  • Any coherent Australian response to climate change will need the goodwill and co-operation of the commonwealth and the states — and the prospects are not looking good. — Paul Kelly, Paul Kelly Blog

  • Now that sport’s fundamentalist war on drugs has tainted Ian Thorpe, even its most breathless supporters must be starting to wonder if there is something a little wrong. — 3 April, Peter Lalor, Peter Lalor Blog

  • Has the big sell off in China sparked the worldwide economic correction that doomsayers have been warning about for the past six-12 months? — 28 February, David Nason, David Nason Blog

  • I don’t know about you, but I don’t need the Federal government to tell me not to hit my kids (see ” Canberra funds $2.5 million anti-smacking campaign “.) I don’t need reminding that they are human beings – albeit pint-sized ones – and no amount of whacking them across the head or any other part of their body can be good for them. Caroline Overington, Caroline Overington Blog

  • THE family is devastated. After five years the “Big Guns” have upped and left home. Matt Price, Matt Price Blog

  • AFTER more than a week of a hammering over plans to file a “false dawn’’ service with Kevin Rudd in Vietnam, the Sunrise program and the Leader of the Opposition have canned the idea completely. Dennis Shanahan, Dennis Shanahan Blog

  • TAJ Din al-Hilali, the Egyptian-born Muslim mufti of Australia and New Zealand, is a disgraceful figure in Australian public life who is now treated as a joke. He has lost the support of most senior Muslim figures and will probably be removed as mufti by the newly formed National Imams Council. Greg Sheridan, Greg Sheridan Blog

  • PRIVATE equity covets Orica for the same reason it likes to look of Coles and will continue to cherry-pick corporate Australia for the next couple of years. At its most basic, Orica is a chemical maker and importer that owns dominant market positions in two distinctly unrelated markets. It is Australia’s biggest paint maker and supplier and the world’s biggest explosives supplier. Matthew Stevens, Matthew Stevens Blog

  • ALAN Moorehead was among the most prominent of Australian cultural exports after World War II, when his books of nonfiction, such as The Blue Nile, attracted a wide following in the US and Britain as well as in his home country. 3 April, Clive James, The Australian Literary Review Blog

The Herald Sun

  • Some of this debate about statistical theory is beyond me, but Professor Sinclair Davidson works warming cultist Tim Lambert into a nice corner. I note Davidson’s civility, and Lambert’s sneering and jeering, which is typical not just of him but of so many warming cultists. Andrew Bolt
  • Kate Middleton and Prince William have split, but don’t blame the media. They have been together for four years so Ms Middleton knew what to expect. Perhaps they just changed their minds. Happens every day. Robyn Riley
  • The AFL needs a history lesson. Urgently. A reminder of the pain and suffering inflicted on the supporters of South Melbourne in the 1980s and Fitzroy in the 1990s.  — Mike Sheahan, Sport Blog
  • You’ve seen the news. It’s horrific. I still can’t get past the fact that he brought chains with him to lock the doors. I don’t think anybody has the right to take away life. — Richard Berry, Sticks and Stones
  • Channel Seven were today (Sunday) on the front foot in dismissing Mercedes Corby’s claims they used the name of Australian Liz O’Neill, who died in the tragic Indonesian air crash last week, in an effort to lure her to an ambush on the Gold Coast. — 11 March, Luke Dennehy, Talking Television

The Courier-Mail

  • Should students be allowed to carry guns on campus? Do you think this sounds extreme? Have a look at what the US state of Virginia was considering before this massacre. Chris Griffith , Vital Interest Blog
  • While the states that already have daylight saving agree to uniform starting and finishing times, Peter Beattie wants to research the matter.
    How do you research daylight saving? By switching the clocks forward and seeing what happens, surely? Chris Bartlett , Water Cooler Blog
  • Andrew Johns will go down as one of the most dominant figures in his era of rugby league; one of the genuine greats of the game, not one of the one- or two-season wonders who certain commentators fall in love with at various times. Barry Dick , Sport Blog
  • The organisers of the Matilda Awards for Excellence in Theatre, to be presented at Brisbane’s Cremorne Theatre on Monday, are concerned that some Queensland arts industry folk apparently feel it’s not worth going to the ceremony “because the only recipients are from the major professional companies”. — Brett Debritz , ShowBritz Blog
  • Nokia is making an 18ct gold mobile phone. Are we really that superficial ? — Jennifer Dudley , Hi-Tech Blog
  • Brisbane architect Rosemary Kennedy wants thermostats on air-conditioners turned up and Queenslanders to start dressing to suit the climate in shorts, short sleeve shirts and strapless dresses rather than suits. 26 March , Brian Williams , The Village Green Blog
  • Japanese troops could soon be training in Australia. I say it is about time. What do you think? 13 March , David Costello , Vital Interest Blog
  • Is it a beach? A farmstay? A mountain retreat? Or something as simple as a weekend’s fishing or an overnighter at a Bed and Breakfast? Tell us, and tell us why you find it so pleasurable. We’ll publish the results in the Travel section of The Courier-Mail print edition. 2 March , Terry O’Connor , Travel Insider Blog
  • Poet Nikki Giovanni delivered a passionate and rousing speech at the Virginia Tech prayer service yesterday. — Poppy Masselos , Education Blog
  • Tour promoter Michael Coppel Presents have just — as in two minutes ago — announced that 100 extra tickets are now available for tonight (Friday) and tomorrow night’s Red Hot Chili Peppers shows at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre . — Noel Mengel , Music Blog
  • Readers write to the newspaper all the time about our use of language. We listen and learn, but sometimes the criticism is simply wrong. Let’s look at a recent example. The irate reader wrote: “I am absolutely disgraced to find that the language of un-educated street children has made it into print, in the form of Brisbane’s Courier-Mail. — 27 September 2006 , Terry O’Connor, Literature Blog

The Daily Telegraph

  • Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd has flown to the US to demonstrate his fitness to manage the crucial Australian-American alliance – leaving a lot of unfinished business in his wake. — Piers Akerman , Piers Akerman Blog
  • If ever there was an example of how skewed our values have become, it was revealed in radio broadcaster Alan Jones’s reprimand. — Paul Kent , Paul Kent Blog
  • Yes, possibly the most belaboured headline of all time, so let me explain. We’re talking internet dating here — what’s bad about it and, well, that’s about it. Internet dating really is the last refuge of the damned – and I know, because I met some of them. — Stephen Corby, MOS (Mail on Sunday) Blog
  • How did innocent and thorough coverage of a tragic massacre become misinterpreted as heartless reporting? When the pack starts running, it runs wild. —   Garth Montgomery
  • THE appointment of Michael Coutts-Trotter as Directkor-General of the Education Department has been given the thumbs down by important professional teacher organisations. They are unhappy — and it has nothing to do with Coutts-Trotter’s drug addict past. The big problem, they say, is his educational credentials. He has none. Maralyn Parker , Maralyn Parker Blog
  • So what size is your carbon footprint? I’m about an eleven-and-a-half or twelve, though maybe a thirteen if you’re talking those midget UK sizes they sell in discount shops . —  Luke Mcllveen , Luke Mcllveen Blog
  • At some point every driver on the road was a learner. But while most people get their licence within a year or two, at the very most, the majority of the desperate drivers in Seven’s Last Chance Learners have been trying for more than 10 years. — Stephen Downie , The TV Guys Blog
  • YOUR intrepid correspondent found himself in a dive bar at Surfers Paradise eight hours after Andrew Johns announced his retirement. — Steve Mascord, NRL Blog
  • A belated well done to the lads in Hong Kong (sorry I’ve been a bit distracted and the blog isn’t working properly). I thought Holman went great guns, that bloke who stood in for Grella was superb, Viduka did everything but score and Arnold must be wondering what he has to do to get the gig. We weren’t overawed and I think it shows we’ve arrived on the world stage. — 28 March, Tim Gill, Soccer Blog
  • Sometimes in life we find ourselves facing dilemmas so great that all you can hope is that nobody else ever ends up in the same predicament. That’s how I felt when I recently discovered construction has started on the world’s first female-only town, where disobedient men will get a spanking. — Anita Quigley, Anita Quigley Blog
  • Is marriage relevant in a modern society? I only ask because, yes, as some readers guessed, I myself will be getting hitched shortly. — 28 March, Dilemma Diva Blog
  • The job description of constantly cooking food for someone who yells at you is appealing to only two types of people: Homeless kids wanting to get on a Jamie Oliver show and mothers. — Anita Quigley, Joe Hildebrand Blog
  • Pop singer Anthony Callea has ended years of speculation by confirming he is gay. The Australian Idol star said yesterday he has reached a point in his life where he is comfortable enough with himself to reveal his s-xuality. –26 March, Ricky Sutton, Sydney Confidential Blog
  • Hi all, I’ve had an enforced layoff from Sprintervals for more than a week and I am going nuts! I feel like I am getting flabby again in places that we’re starting to look nice and I have aches and pains from not exercising enough. I need to find a gym asap. — Big Girl, Your Say Blog
  • Recently a combination of greenhouse guilt and growing girth led me to start riding a pushbike to work. It is not a game for the faint-hearted. Riders face an absence of bike lanes and the natural hatred and envy that exists between drivers and cyclists: drivers hate cyclists beating them through peak hour and cyclists envy the drivers’ air-conditioning and six-stack CD players. — 12 March, Peter Trute, Our Environment with Peter Trute Blog

The Adelaide Advertiser

  • With the federal election looming and as candidates are slowly being announced, the tallying of male versus female candidates is bound to occur. Since 1897 when Catherine Helen Spence became the first female political candidate there’s been a steadily increasing number of women prepared to stand and run. — Mia Handshin, Mia Blog

  • With all the talk about boring footy _ too much zoning around the ground and flooding until we drown, I thought it would be good to find which era impressed you and why. Many of our football heroes come from these eras and hold fond memories for all of us. But does the modern game have the same magic? Let me know what you think. — Peter Dawe, Your Shout Blog
  • 14,000 spare seats at AAMI Stadium for a Showdown says something is wrong with football in this state. On a weekend where AFL attendances for a single round were the 4th highest in history, the record low crowd for a Showdown is a major concern for many, not just the AFL. — Chris McDermott, Guest Blogger Blog

  • The Victoria Park Mob has excelled itself with the latest move to frustrate efforts to build the multi-purpose grandstand in their “private garden”. Mike Duffy, Straight Shooter Blog


  • Another musician has been lost to us too young. Vale Billy Thorpe who has delighted Aussie rock and roll fans for decades. The Australian music industry will be a poorer place for his loss. Freel free to leave messages of condolence here, which we will collate into an online book. — 28 February, Allen Newton, Over the Fence Blog
  • YIKES. It’s not as though motherhood is going to come as a complete surprise — the stomach has been stretching for almost eight months now. But this weekend is a milestone. I’m signing off to go on maternity leave. With just five weeks to go, it’s high time this little baby got the nurturing it deserves as opposed to being dragged around to all manner of activities and putting up with grown-up stuff like social events, traffic jams and long days at work. — 20 Janurary, Lisa Pendrill, From Lisa’s Lips Blog

PerthNow: Sunday Times

  • Twenty20 cricket — it’s what the people want, so why the rationing. It’s a fair question isn’t it. Australia’s recent clash with England was one of highest rating cricket matches of all time, yet this summer, that’s it for cricket’s newest sensation. The traditionalists say we should be afraid of Twenty20, very afraid. It could be the death of the 50 over game, they say. So what . It’s hardly one of sports great institutions. — 14 January, Adrian Barich, BarraBlog Blog
  • The Carpenter State Government is in a crisis that is all of its own doing. All of its other problems pale into the background compared with its handling of the child abuse epidemic highlighted by its complicity in the death of 10-month-old baby Wade Scale. — 25 August 2006, Howard Sattler, Sattler File Blog

  • It was a case of the pot calling the kettle black as Ricky Ponting, captain of the world’s master sledgers, complaining about West Indian Chris Gayle. –19 October 2006, David Davutovic, Sports Talk Blog

  • Nothing is more likely to get up the nose of television viewers than the seemingly blatant disregard television programmers have for them. Letters to tvguide in The Sunday Times pour in when amidst all the hype of new shows being launched, the show pops up on the small screen once or twice and is then quickly bundled off to the nether regions of the timeslot world. — 18 October 2006, Allen Newton, Your Say TV Blog