Read All About It

One of the things causing many concern (me included) is the demise of community information in many areas, Whitby included. It is in fact a national problem and (I’d say) a crisis.

The Whitby Gazette has served the community well for donkey’s years but the challenge of the web and free instant news has attracted advertisers in a direction which is competitive to print and eats into revenue. Each page has to earn its keep.

The Gazette does a sterling job in listing activities that are submitted to it – and free of charge – let me say that. But all local newspapers (and nationals too) are challenged.

In Australia, there seems to be a very strong tradition – supported by Councils at local and State levels – of local INFORMATION newspapers containing items of local social interest. So not news, though up to date information and articles on clubs, societies, wellbeing etc. with local advertisers supporting their area. Buy locally is also a message.

Isolation and loneliness are rife in most countries. One of the contributors to it people who are out of the loop. Mainly, but not exclusively, the elderly.

Here is one such paper for Stratford upon Avon (near Sale, AU). There’s an item about the Men’s Shed in it but many others too. Commercially printed but facilitated (I understand) by the administrations.

Note that much of the paper is advertising in one way or another (and paid for) but the content is largely by community organisations themselves (with some professional editing). This and free, plentiful, clean toilets are considered two of life’s community essentials!

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