The Chronicle March 4 edition shows some of the 2020 TRC election candidates, Friday, March 20, 2020. Picture: Kevin Farmer
The Chronicle March 4 edition shows some of the 2020 TRC election candidates, Friday, March 20, 2020. Picture: Kevin Farmer Kevin Farmer

JOHNO'S SAY: Newspapers essential for local communities

IN 1990 I headed off from Sydney on my very first international flight, destination Christchurch, New Zealand.

Awaiting departure I flicked through the morning newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, and when I hopped on the plane I found a copy of the previous day's afternoon paper, The Daily Mirror.

On the flight back I was intrigued to find a new newspaper The Daily Telegraph Mirror.

In time it became The Daily Telegraph once more.

While we were away Australia's afternoon newspapers had simply disappeared.

This, my friends, was the beginning of newspaper rationalisation.

Last week we learned of more rationalisation in the industry and, thankfully, The Chronicle was not affected.

It is business as usual with both the printed version and online version.

The news landscape has changed dramatically since 1990 as has the way in which we receive news.

Who could have imagined the impact social media would have on our beloved local newspapers?

A growing army of invaders arrived including names with which I am familiar like www, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram, plus many more which, at my age, I'll not have time to employ.

All these new names have something in common, they want advertising dollars which means local newspapers have to work even harder to remain viable.

Newspapers are terribly important for local communities and I thank all the corporations and families who own them and who publish them year after year.

In my life the newspapers that meant the most to me, as I moved around the place, have been the Moree Champion, Canberra Times, Courier-Mail and, for the last 25 years, The Chronicle.

Okay the Moree Champion is still important to me, it's a nostalgia thing.

Sadly, over time, some newspapers have gone and others have merged.

Competition and technology caught up with them.

The most significant, relatively recent, development has been the adoption of online strategies to deliver the news.
Now, as an older person, I have to say I resisted the offers of digital subscriptions.

It just didn't seem right that I would need to gaze into my PC, tablet or mobile to find out what was happening in and around Toowoomba.

The concept was un-Australian, blokes have always walked down the street with a newspaper under their arms, it's what we do.

However, in time, I surrendered and have to say I enjoy reading The Chronicle more online than the conventional way.

We still have papers delivered on Fridays and weekends - well I have to stay friendly with Sonia and Kristie at the Southtown Post Office/South Street Newsagency to make sure my Australia Post parcels are dropped off! 

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