‘Rituals won’t be same but I’m reassured GT not lost’
THE loss of feeling and perusing over The Gympie Times as a printed newspaper will be immense.
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It has charmed its way into morning rituals when we can share pages, take clippings, read out snippets, and then pass the newspaper on to others.
To sit in a coffee shop, to stand at a shop counter, and flick through the pages will not be the same.
I will feel the tactile loss of the printed paper.
A local newspaper's success can be traced to its reliability, the quality of its editorial, and the trust and relationship it has with its community.
It provides a vital service as a watchdog, is the eyes and ears of the community, and is a record of the daily life of our region.
The printed newspaper is more than just the stories.
It is where they are placed, the importance they carry, the stories, pictures, cartoons, letters and advertisements they sit beside.
Anyone who is closely connected with agriculture and growth knows that some things may end, and, in their place, other gems emerge.
The GT is simply undergoing a renovation, a reimagining, a makeover.
I am reassured that our GT is not lost- it will just arrive in a different form.
A newspaper is not just the words it is the connection to community.
As the world becomes increasingly digitised and globalised people turn to the personal connections they have with their families and where they live.
They are comforted in reading about familiar names, stories, community events, volunteer groups, sporting results, the inside jokes, and of course the photos - the highs and lows of life.
My first contact with the staff at Gympie Times was nearly 20 years when I was appointed as a councillor to the Kilkivan Shire.
Since then staff have come and gone, others moved to new ventures and localities. Some have returned.
While I am pleased that some staff will continue to be our record keepers, I am sad that many locals have lost their jobs.
Only two years ago the GT won the national Community News Brand of the Year. It won the award for the second year in a row and a fourth time in five years. In the same year it won the News Corporation Achievements in Regional Journalism award.
They are not trivial achievements.
They are testament to the efforts, professionalism, and dedication of the entire team.
The GT is respected for the range and coverage of a wide selection of issues and events which makes it a valuable training ground for journalists and photographers, and for everyone to sharpen their skills.
Since the gold rush more than 150 years ago Gympie has always had its own printed newspaper chronicling our history, comprehensively recording, and celebrating our community.
It is inextricable linked with Gympie's growth through wars, depression, economic downturns, numerous floods, fires, and droughts.
It has grieved and rejoiced with the community.
Not many local papers can be credited with a century and a half of continuous operation.
It is a significant accomplishment and our GT has been able to hold its own.
I am pleased that it will continue to do so and look forward to creating a new morning ritual.
by Member for Gympie Tony Perrett