• Loddon Herald

A hundred stories and more to come

Updated: Mar 11, 2021

MILESTONES come and go in life and newspapers throughout history have mirrored the goings-on in local communities.

To mirror life is the very foundation, the keystone of the local newspaper as a chronicle of happenings that shape future understanding of an era, a generation, recording tomorrow’s history today.

Just over a month ago, the first edition of the Loddon Herald was being prepared for dispatch to the printer.

There are only a handful of news-paper printing presses in Victoria in 2021 and for country newspapers, this means earlier deadlines than those faced by pioneering newspapers of the 19th century. It also means added freight costs with the printing press no longer clunking away “out the back”.

In our first four editions, the Loddon Herald has published more than 100 stories about local people, local communities, local news and local achievements.

We were the first new newspaper in Victoria in 2021. A singular moment of no real importance other than across Australia last year more than 160 newspapers were closed, often with a downturn caused by COVID given as the reason.

Some areas were left without a voice for their communities. That removes balance from discussion and conversation - there’s much more to Australia than the capital cities and the eastern seaboard.

In gathering stories for the first four editions, today’s edition and those into the future - in fact the total number of stories already published in the Loddon Herald is now more than 150 - it’s the connection with people and communities that has reinforced the importance of having a local newspaper.

A survey late last year by Country Press Australia, the country newspaper industry association, confirmed the place of local newspapers in rural communities.

More than 75 per cent of residents want and look for their local news in a newspaper. As for social media, the results from that survey were way, way down the ladder.

Only last week, the Loddon Herald was officially given a membership of Country Press Australia and Victorian Country Press Association.

This means that once again, communities across the Loddon are recognised within the national media landscape.

Such recognition of an area like the Loddon can only assist in growing the region, directly perhaps not, but every signpost strengthens local communities.

And it is the support (and interest) of local communities that has seen us achieve that little first month milestone.

We have often been asked why make the Loddon Herald a free newspaper. Simply, it’s to have the best connection between people and communities.

The support from businesses already adverting in the columns of this newspaper has been crucial to achieving a month of publication.

The businesses where you can collect a free copy of the Loddon Herald every Thursday afternoon are also crucial to sharing to news, the stories, with local communities.

Our columns have been filled with so many stories, great stories that had been waiting to be told. There are so many more still to be written, too good to be ignored, ready to take their place in a chronicle that will inform future generations and readers.

So thank you for your comments and suggestions. Keep them coming ... that’s enough from us for there are more stories about local people and local communities to be written.

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