Mayor comments on ‘disappointing’ loss of local paper
MAYOR Paul McVeigh has not minced his words about the “fabric of our society” being torn following the discontinuation of the print versions of the Dalby Herald and the Chinchilla News.
News Corp chairman Michael Miller announced last week that the Herald and Chinchilla News, along with several papers across the southwest will make the shift to “digital only” and print publications of vital news sources will be abolished.
“We were disappointed when the Herald went from a twice weekly paper to a once a week paper and now we’re obviously very disappointed that it won’t be here come the end of this financial year,” Cr McVeigh said.
“It’s one of those papers that everyone loved getting and reading about the local news and even the local ads.
“It’ll be more to our older generation that will miss it.”
Following the announcement of the move to digital only, council have commenced “blackspot reviews” in collaboration with the federal government to combat the region’s connectivity issues and ensure locals from around the region will have access to the news in its new form.
“Even though the papers will be going digital we need to make sure our community can receive that news when it goes digital,” Cr McVeigh said.
Cr McVeigh said the “biggest disappointment” would be mass job losses in our region with the new changes starting on July 1.
Cr McVeigh hoped the changes wouldn’t stop the celebration of our region through the local news.
“When young journalists come out to our region, and are learning the trade to a degree – what a great place to learn,” he said.
“They’re out there in rural communities talking to local people, and local people tell great stories.
“They’re always up for an interview and we do have great personalities in our region.
“That’ll be another opportunity that we’ll miss, the opportunity to work with experienced journalists and up-and-coming journalists to get that real feeling of what it’s like to live in regional Queensland and to appreciate the characters we have out here.”
One positive Cr McVeigh views in the move to digital only is the immediacy of the local news, and how the community’s access to news would improve without the week-long wait for the newspaper each week.
Above all, Cr McVeigh said he would miss the feeling of sitting back and flicking through the local rag every week.
The final edition of the Chinchilla News will be out on June 25.
The final edition of the Dalby Herald will be out on June 26.