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Journalism matters

Print media has been dealt another blow, writes Candice Holznagel, which is why it’s more important than ever to support publications.

Opinion

Journalism matters

Print media has been dealt another blow, writes Candice Holznagel, which is why it’s more important than ever to support publications.

July marks 12 years since I said goodbye to the newsroom at the Sunshine Coast Daily. I enjoyed four rewarding yet busy years as a journalist for the then-owned APN publication. But I had become acutely aware of a change and sensed it was time to go. Four of us resigned in the same week. Soon the redundancies began.

It was the first time I’d witnessed such brutal cuts within a media organisation. It was confronting, and murmurs about the future of print circulated. It was worrying, but in 2010 I found myself heading up news meetings, this time under the News Corp banner.

Ten months later our entire branch, around 25 people, were made redundant. I’ll never forget watching tears flow from my colleagues as the dreaded envelopes were dished out from a big brown box.

Newspapers are in your blood – ink flows deep in your veins. It is an unquenchable thirst; a desire to tell the story. There is a connection unlike any other that you share with your peers, built on the understanding that news is a lifeblood. Resources are limited, the hours are long and the demands never-ending.

True news hounds know what it’s like to work 50 hours a week with no additional pay. We know the feeling of holding back tears, and the responsibility as you pen someone’s heartbreaking story.

Sadly somewhere along the way, these traits diminished. Editorial space made way for more advertising, and journalists were told to focus on digital numbers and click rates as opposed to writing quality content.

In turn, readership decreased. Industry leaders claim it’s because people crave more news, faster. This may be true, but the limitations and demands placed on journalists affected content, which has also played a big part.

Last week News Corp announced it is shutting down print on more than 100 newspaper titles across the nation. Some of these mastheads are disappearing completely. Don’t kid yourself, the impact will be felt by many. There are going to be job losses – years of talent lost. We will say goodbye to long-form journalism in many regions, and then there are thousands of faithful readers who are left reeling.

Digital journalism is the way of the future, yes. But, print also deserves a place in our community. In the coming weeks and months, as an independently-owned  magazine, we will be investing more into journalism and news. We will continue to support the Coast and provide more news and lifestyle content to our readers. The decision by News Corp does signal change, but we will continue to provide free printed content. Now is the time for businesses and the community to support local print publications. Let’s not lose such a vital part of Australia’s workforce, and history.

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Candice's passion for journalism led her to the Sunshine Coast 12 years ago where she has worked across multiple media and communication platforms. An avid traveller (she lists Paris, Venice and Vietnam as her faves), this mum of one loves meeting with people from all walks of life and finds inspiration within their stories. Candice joined the team in 2014 and is MWP's editor.

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