From the Newsroom

How your Community Newspaper Works for You

Comment by Oscar Tansen

As we all know only too well, inflation, the Web and the presence of TV advertising have collectively put paid to many community newspapers in various parts of Australia and elsewhere. Your ‘Clarence Valley Independent’ is, however, committed to continuing printing its weekly edition to carry the latest local news and timely shopping information to you, our many faithful readers.

The 30-year-old philosophy of our editorial and management team has always been to serve our community by standing up for your individual rights when needed.

It has also been to keep readers up to date on everything happening in our Clarence Valley community and to strengthen relations between our people and authority. Not only is it a mouthpiece for you to learn of the latest hatches, matches and dispatches but it also provides you with an essential easy-to-read free TV guide.

In addition, we are heavily focused on recording all major and minor achievements in all facets of our local public life, on the sports field and in those vital community organisations which serve everyone within our readership and circulation areas.

By using true public service journalism traits, we are here to help all our local people overcome their individual problems and possible misunderstandings that arise over, say, new and established Council and Government initiatives.

We also believe we have an important role to play in connecting small and large business owners with their customers and by providing them with affordable and effective advertising spaces.

Experience has shown that Community Journalism is essential in building trust with everyone in a local environment and in forging important connections by being deeply embedded in the local region it serves.

Well-run local country newspapers also help to create progressive societies by acting as a mirror of their communities against a backdrop of providing up-to-the-minute news, entertainment, positive comment and ‘Letters to the Editor’ column.

Unfortunately, too much advertising money has in recent years been drawn away from local newspapers due to over exposure on the Internet and TV screens. This situation has all too often led to newspaper closures and the end of a sense of community.

The spiralling recent cost of printing has also spelt the death knell to many previously successful local news publications, causing far too many country communities to suddenly find themselves without the catalyst of a local factual news provider.

Historically speaking, local newspapers have been in existence since 59B.C. when, in Rome, the first news publication — the famed Acta Diurna — was handwritten and read to the local populace by a town crier.

In the Seventeenth Century, however, the printing of more modern newspapers became possible, and the first example of our community news media was born in Antwerp, the capital of Belgium.

Since then, community newspapers have provided the bigger national and weekly city newspapers with serious competition by covering in detail their largely ignored news in our smaller towns, villages and farming districts.

Compared with TV and the relatively short lifespan of film, community newspapers are also today the only lasting record of important community events for study by future historians.

It is indeed these various facts — and more – deeply embedded in community newspapers that are responsible for your ‘Clarence Valley Independent’ newspaper continuing to successfully bring you your weekly local news. We look forward to greeting you with our latest edition next Wednesday morning.