ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST: Newsrooms Australia-wide are becoming tighter.
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST: Newsrooms Australia-wide are becoming tighter. Max Fleet BUN161015NEWS12

OPINION: A death in the (journalism) family

I AM saddened to hear of the closure of the WIN Network Wide Bay newsroom.

Not that we saw them particularly often in our neck of the woods, the North Burnett being a tiny corner of their coverage area, but because I think public discourse always suffers whenever a voice is silenced.

In many ways, we here at the Times are lucky.

Country newspapers, generally serving smaller communities and with less competition for eyeballs, have not been filleted as some other mediums have.

But we are not immune to the changing nature of the industry.

Readers will recall, up until the end of last year, we had journalists stationed in each town bar Eidsvold and Mount Perry.

PwC Australia analysis of the domestic newspaper market suggests that by 2023, a mere $450 million per annum will be spent on newspaper advertising.

This is down from $2.243 billion in 2014.

Up until the digital revolution, news has always been subsidised by advertising.

You didn't have to pay for news because the advertisers were paying for it.

The "rivers of gold”, as Rupert Murdoch once famously described classified ads, have dried up.

WIN Network has just illustrated one response to the changing industry: shut up shop.

Another response is to buckle down, reaffirm your commitment to unique local content and write for your life.

The Times isn't going anywhere.


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