Chief Minister Andrew Barr has strengthened his apology for saying he "hates journalists", saying he has learned from the strong reaction to his comments last week.
"I shouldn't have made that statement, I apologise for making that statement. It wasn't a nice thing to say," he said.
"But it doesn't detract from my point that I need to communicate with all Canberrans and I can't rely on the traditional media to reach all Canberrans. I've got to use other methods as well."
Mr Barr told a briefing of communications specialists last week that he hated journalists and was "over" dealing with the mainstream media. He dismissed The Canberra Times as a dying newspaper that would be gone within years and viewers of ABC television as in their mid-60s.
His comments were recorded and leaked to The Canberra Times, sparking stories around the country.
On Friday, Mr Barr made his regular fortnightly appearance on ABC radio's Chief Minister talkback segment, where he apologised, although repeated his criticism of the media.
He said he had learned "many lessons" from the reaction, including that "there are times when your opinions are best kept to yourself".
"This is an opportunity to reflect on why I have those views. Are they appropriate?" he said, without elaborating.
He had also learned "that there's no such thing as off the record".
"I didn't expect that there would someone secretly recording what I said. I will now expect that everywhere I go, in the context of being asked to give some frank remarks or commentary on anything that it will always be recorded," he said.
"I won't be the first or the last politician to learn that lesson. And yes, it was a classic gotcha moment and the media love gotcha moments."
Asked whether it revealed his true views, he said, "I do have strong views around how the media operates in this country ...
"I don't think the Australian media serves the Australian people particularly well at times. I think there are some media outlets that follow a particular political view to the point that its editorial policies are not independent or balanced.
"And I don't think you can put on your masthead that you are independent if your stated editorial policy is to support the election of a conservative government."
While Mr Barr said his comments applied not only to "a newspaper in this city" but also to "a national newspaper", it is clear he was stung by The Canberra Times' decision to support the election of a Liberal government, on balance, at the last election.
While editorials are separate from news coverage and do not influence reporting, it is common practice for newspaper editors to write an election editorial.
In 2012, The Canberra Times editorialised in favour of Labor. In 2008, the editorial did not make a clear call either way. In the five federal elections since 2004, The Canberra Times has editoralised in favour of Labor three times and the Coalition twice.
Mr Barr told the communications specialists he was determined to "completely overhaul the way we communicate as a government", and said the change would be resourced and was backed by his administration.
But on Friday, he back-tracked, saying he would use all forms of media and "they're not mutually exclusive".
"We will communicate with Canberrans through the traditional media, through new media, both independent outlets that operate in this city, through throwaway weeklies that are given away for free, through websites, through social media, through street stalls, through door-knocking, through telephone calls ..."
His speech to communications professionals had been about asking them to help the government engage with people who didn't use mainstream media – although "I didn't do it in a particularly effective way", he said, pledging that Friday's comments were the last he would make on the media.