New research shows how much you value local news
NEW research out this week shows local newspapers are the main source of information for almost half of regional news consumers about their community.
The University of Canberra survey of more than 2000 adult news consumers in Australia found 76 per cent would miss their local newspaper if it went out of business and 74 per cent would miss local online news offerings.
It's tough stuff to read with just six papers to go for the Daily Mercury but I actually find those statistics motivating.
It spurs me to do even better to serve the Mackay community in the digital world.
"The data show that local newspapers are the main source of information for almost half of regional news consumers about their community. If they close, disadvantaged groups will be hit hardest, especially the elderly, those who are not online or have poor internet connection," report author Sora Park said.
"While many of these communities can access regional TV news and radio services, in-depth coverage of issues in their area will disappear leaving a big social, democratic and economic gap."
On her first point, it breaks my heart to hear from our older readers but, if that's you, please know we are planning to hold workshops on how to use the Daily Mercury website on laptops, iPads and smart devices as we go forward.
We want to help bring you with us on this journey.
I disagree with her second point entirely. We will still have 10 journalists across Mackay and the Whitsundays who will work every day to bring you news from your communities.
We will still go to the courts, cover council meetings and keep you informed about what's happening in our patch.
So we still want you to share your stories and let us know when you think there's an issue we should be covering.
Nothing has changed there. We are still dedicated to this community and to you, our readers.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org any time with your news tips.