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'Sad day’ as News Corp stops listening to regions


Sweeping changes to local and community newspapers have raised concerns not only for axed journalists but also those who still have stories to tell.

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As senior State Government ministers held talks aimed at facilitating Queensland’s economic recovery, it became clear the impact of News Corp’s decision would extend well beyond the loss of local jobs.

Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick took to Twitter to declare it “a sad day for regional and community news in Queensland”. Cabinet colleague and Education Minister Grace Grace said it was “such a shame for regional journalism”.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk later voiced similar sentiments, saying people were losing newspapers that had been part of their communities for generations.

“They’ve been read by families over breakfast and led to discussions about what’s happening in their towns to the people they know,” Palaszczuk tweeted.

“These are papers that have led campaigns resulting in changes to better the lives of their communities. They’ve been a record of local history.”

Local Government Association of Queensland CEO Greg Hallam said his organisation had sought to adjust to the changing landscape and the “new milieu” of online operations.

“It’s a sad day especially for the journalists and supporting staff losing their jobs, but understandable in the economic circumstance and noting we are in the first year of the third decade in the 21st century,” Hallam said.

“The role of new entrants, such as InQueensland, into the media landscape and the ongoing role of the ABC become even more important.”

The LGAQ is a foundation partner of InQueensland.

Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance Queensland regional director Michelle Rae said quality journalists, who had kept in touch with their communities, would lose their jobs.

“Regional journalism isn’t just important to our regions but also giving amplification of regional voices to our cities,” Rae said.

The loss of printed newspapers, and shift to under-resourced digital-only operations, meant there was “less opportunity for local and regional stories to be heard”.

“Today we see regional Queensland losing its voice,” Rae said, while also criticising the Federal Government for failing to recognise, and support, the need for a representative and competitive media industry.

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