After several weeks of hard work from the editorial, advertising and production teams at Redland City News, your new community paper is officially up and running.
This is a seminal moment for our community and the beginning of an exciting new chapter for journalism in the Redlands.
As I wrote in last week’s column, there was a palpable sense of sadness over the Redland City Bulletin closing in April and leaving the city without a local newspaper.
Readers wrote to me expressing their disappointment at what they saw as the demise of local journalism and expressed deep concern about its impact on democracy.
Some spoke of the heartache they felt for the many people – journalists, editors, sales reps and photographers among them – who helped shape the publication into a local institution over several decades.
The feedback we have received since news went public of Local News Group owner David Johnston launching a new local publication has been overwhelmingly positive.
People are elated that they will have their stories told and their voices heard once again.
With council elections less than 12 months away and a huge decision looming on the Toondah Harbour development, there has never been a more important time for residents to have a trusted source of local news.
We hope you have enjoyed reading the range of stories published in our first two editions, from living legend Dan Holzapfel turning 100 in the company of family and friends to Kieron Douglass tackling a 100km backwards run for charity.
Please drop us a line and let us know how we did. Being open to constructive feedback is how we can remain accountable for the work we publish in these pages each week.
It has been heartening to see such a strong uptake of the first edition and readers taking a genuine interest in the stories that were printed.
Reports filtering in from the community suggest papers were snapped up not long after they were delivered last Thursday morning.
That is wonderful to hear, particularly after the long hours and hard work every Redland City News staff member has invested in making this paper something special for the community.
With a significant readership comes great responsibility.
Our promise is to always strive for balance in our reporting by giving all sides an equal footing in every debate.
As journalists it is our job to present the facts (and only the facts) so you can make up your own mind about the issues affecting you and the local community.
Most importantly, it is our job – and our great pleasure – to tell stories about the incredible people who make this city shine.
This week’s front page, and indeed the stories published throughout the paper, is a great example of the important role local news plays in the ever-evolving media landscape.
It promotes, informs, inspires, encourages and unites. The stories in this paper are unique because they are shaped by you – our readers.
So please, embrace your local paper, share it with friends, and remember to support the advertisers who make this possible.
Have your say – send your letter to email@example.com. Remember to add your full name, suburb and telephone number to every submission.