Welcome to this week's Editors Choice This week we saw Fairfax cut another $30 million. This translates to a further 115 journalists who will lose their jobs. This is on top of the 100 who were cut a year ago and several hundred who have been sidelined in the five years before that. These losses aren't just people at desks - they are the journalists who know their community, investigate and report for their community with their decades of experience, their depth of knowledge, their skills and their integrity.
On top of the losses will be cuts to contributors who do a lot of the work of filling the spaces to bring you a newspaper. Newspapers are becoming increasingly thinner and more generic with stories globally distributed throughout a region. This all comes at a time when the community NEEDS to be better informed. Many have become disillusioned by newspapers with their diminishing content and look instead to the internet for their news. Most often they will look at newspapers online, and editions such as the New York Times and The Guardian are breaking records in new supporters. Most Australians however look to social media for their daily news and they want it for FREE.
Therein lies the problem. Fairfax want profits. Journalist are expensive, photographers are expensive, printing newspapers is expensive. But cutting these expenses cuts at the very heart of the product people buy - news, printed on newspaper or available digitally, written and researched by journalists. The Beagle is just one avenue of news provision in our region. We have the Bay Post, Moruya Examiner, Narooma News and to our north and south other Fairfax papers, all of whom have seen savage cuts. Our local ABC South East has also been the victim of corporate rationalisation. Without these key daily observers who stand as watchdogs on our behalf, who celebrate our community and who inform and include, we are sorely left in the dark. This week Beagle Editor's Choice looks at our community using independent media to openly enquire, to seek responses and solutions and to make public comment knowing it is read by our politicians and bureaucrats at all levels. We close with the passing of a bush walking legend who opened up the country to our west and called Moruya home - Colin Watson OAM
Until next week Lei