SAD BUT HOPEFUL: Central and North Burnett Times journalist Alex Treacy recalls his time back in the region. Photo: Contributed
SAD BUT HOPEFUL: Central and North Burnett Times journalist Alex Treacy recalls his time back in the region. Photo: Contributed

‘Saddened but optimistic’ says recent CNB Times grad

JUNE 25 marked the final print edition of the Central and North Burnett Times, honouring more than 50 years we’ve been in the community.

To celebrate the years in print and our move to digital yarns, we reached out to several former journos about their tenure with the paper.

Former Times journalist Alex Treacy spent close to a year in the North Burnett, journeying the region and breaking hard stories.

For him, the decision to move to digital has left him hopeful for the future of news in the region.

Like many, I was shocked and saddened by the announcement that the Central & North Burnett Times would cease to become a printed newspaper, alongside some 125 other mastheads across Australia.

A disproportionate amount of these were in regional Queensland, due to the 2016 News Corp acquisition of APN, and so just like that, your local newsagency will cease stocking the Fraser Coast Chronicle, Bundaberg News-Mail, South Burnett Times and, yes, this humble rag.

In fact, the only solely state based News Corp papers which will continue to be printed in Queensland are the Toowoomba Chronicle, Gold Coast Bulletin, Townsville Bulletin, and the Courier Mail. The rest, including massive dailies like the Cairns Post and Sunshine Coast Daily, have gone digital.

But, while I am sad to see them go, I am nevertheless confident that the entrepreneurial spirit of Australians and the determination of the regional journalists who remain will be more than enough to counter this temporary setback.

Here are my reasons for optimism:

– The Central & North Burnett Times continues to be published digitally. Your local journalist Sam is still writing about your towns. He’s still reporting breaking crime, what’s opening and closing, holding council accountable, and he’ll be at the footy if and when it resumes. Please consider subscribing if you can afford it.

READ MORE:

Paper is about the community says ex-Burnett journo

Biggenden’s unsung hero gave town a voice

FLASHBACK: 17 huge stories we’ve covered in print

– Despite this announcement, small, independent printed publications can still be profitable if run well. I applaud publisher of the Gayndah Gazette XXX’s decision to also print a North Burnett News edition. Media diversity is healthy. I encourage you to call or email Sam if you have a great yarn. Or XXX. Or pick up the phone and call the ABC’s Wide Bay bureau, who cover your area. The squeaky wheel gets the oil. Make your voice heard.

– News can come from anywhere and anyone can report it. When Trudie Payne kept her friends updated via Facebook on the community efforts to save her property ‘Kerwee’ from bushfire, that was news. When Robyn Geddes uploads all her amazing footy photos which tell the story of the game, that’s news. Or when interest groups such as the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trial keep posting helpful updates on social media and their website, again, news.

I remember my time in the North Burnett fondly.

I miss football training and playing cricket.

I miss coffees at Nourished and going to teachers dinners in Eidsvold.

Life back in Brisbane is different.

I live in a small inner-city apartment where the Uber Eats options are plenty.

My father passed in February which was horrible, but we snuck in a massive funeral and a very musical wake just before the COVID shutdown.

My partner is moving in with me at the end of the week from Kingaroy and we are going to look for a nice place to rent together.

I am grateful for the support you all gave me in my first year of full time journalism.

Thanks for telling me about your lives and indulging my mistakes.

Whenever it comes up in conversation, I do my best to try and convey the richness of life in regional Queensland and the wonderful year I had playing some small part in that.


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