Key to staying in touch
By CR NEIL BEATTIE
FIRSTLY, I’d like to welcome the Loddon Herald to Loddon Shire and thank its editor Chris Earl for bringing a local newspaper back to our community.
It is fantastic to have a local newspaper once again in our Shire, after we lost The Loddon Times last year.
During these times of COVID-19, where we have all felt the impacts and uncertainty this pandemic has brought with it, having a local newspaper is especially important.
Local newspapers are the lifeblood of our community. It is where we find out about news that affects us as a community, it’s where we discover and celebrate the great work local people and local organisations contribute to our communities, and where we find out about local events.
The local newspaper is, of course, where we come to read about that other lifeblood of our community – local sport.
Many times you would see a community member get a copy of the local paper and flip it straight to the back page to find out the local sports results.
Local newspapers are also at the forefront when tragic events strike our communities.
Their editors and reporters live and work in their communities, and are often affected by these events too.
They also provide an important local perspective and understanding of the impacts of these events on communities – something that often lacks in state or national coverage.
People in the community also value their local newspaper.
Many times you hear “I read in the local paper that ...”
People will often take pride in seeing themselves and loved ones’ names or photos in the local paper.
Local newspapers also provide an opportunity for local businesses and organisations to help inform and reach into their community through advertising and local stories.
This includes Loddon Shire, which relies on local news and advertising as another way to inform our community about Council news, projects, activities and events.
Everything I’ve mentioned so far about the role of local newspapers, in fact, also highlights one other thing – the importance of local newspapers in keeping our community connected.
This community connection is especially important in a Shire like ours, which has many small towns and communities spread over a significant land area of around 6700 square kilometres.
Through providing a source of local news and events, the Loddon Herald will play an important role in keeping our community across all parts of the Shire not only informed, but connected to each other.
We also look forward to sharing what’s happening in Loddon Shire news, including current and upcoming projects, tourism and events, public consultation and feedback being sought, and other general happenings.
There’s plenty on the agenda too. This includes the continued roll out of Council’s 2020-21 infrastructure program, the development of Council’s four-year plan and vision through The Loddon Project, further activation of outdoor dining at hospitality venues across the Shire, and much more.
On behalf of Loddon Shire, I again welcome and congratulate the Loddon Herald on its first edition.