The Beagle was launched One Year Ago on November 1st, 2016. Why an on-line only free independent news source? It had become obvious that there were many issues not being covered by local media. Adding to this were all the local community events, meetings and celebrations that just didn't get a mention. Arts were under represented, a focus on local politics was almost non existent and sports reporting was selective. It was clear that the size of a newspaper controlled what content was reported and it was clear that news was culled down to fit an economical print run size while also fattening out the advertising. At the same time that newspaper content was diminishing so too were the reporters employed with across the board retrenchments of major news publishers. All of this meant that we, the community were being left in the dark of news that affected our community. As such we were no longer being advised of decisions being made or about to be made that would affect what we could and could not do. Around this time the Bay Post went behind a pay wall. What had once been available to read for free on-line now came at a cost. A new economic model for Fairfax and one that generated lots of discussion and also saw a backlash. The community soon realised that if they wanted updates of events such as local fires or accidents they would have to pay. They also came to realise that if they wanted to read media releases from Council they would also have to pay or go to the Council website to read them for free. Social Media was offering little other than "click bait" directing them to pay to read. The Tuross Giant had been providing an on-line newspaper to the residents of Tuross Head for 8 years. It was clunky in the format of a .pdf (usually around 25 pages) however it did keep Tuross readers effectively informed and included and it challenged Council to be sure to include the community.
So one year ago an easy to navigate online news source that represented the whole of the Eurobodalla shire from Sth Durras to The Tilbas was born. A "newspaper" that was free, inclusive, informative, diverse and independent. The Beagle could not exist without its sponsors, advertisers, donors, contributors, photographers and its readers. It is each and all of them who bring Independent news to the community and I thank them all for their solid support. They are the Beagle. Some Statistics: Over the last year 66,000 individual computers,tablets or mobiles have logged into the Beagle from all over the world. On average we have 5000 regular readers who look at the Beagle from once a week to daily. These readers have read just over half a million pages of the 3627 articles that have been published to date. Thanks also go to our loyal commenters who add to the statistics with 9626 comments on the articles, mainly in the Letters and Opinions and mainly in regards to keeping Council in check and on notice. We also have over 2000 followers on our Face Book Page who enjoy daily news feeds along with the 2000+ subscribers to the Beagle Weekender.
All in all a successful first year.