Welcome to Echonetdaily’s first anniversary edition. The very first issue went online on August 22 last year, after a very short and intense ‘rehearsal’ period – just one week.
That first issue contained one page of local news, one page of national and world news and one page of entertainment copy plus property, surf and weather.
By contrast, in addition to substantially expanding our news coverage, today’s issue includes election guides to Tweed, Byron, Ballina and Lismore, plus classifieds, service directory and Good Taste. And of course videos.
One of the great strengths of Echonetdaily has been our use of embedded video and our close relationship with northern rivers filmmaker Sharon Shostak. In addition to our video documentaries, Byron Echo contributors Mandy Nolan (who this week appeared on ABC’s Q&A) and Mungo MacCallum now add their viewpoints to Echonetdaily via video each week.
As we noted in yesterday’s news, Sharon herself won a prestigious filmmaking award in the US over the weekend. As well as being a great coup for Sharon, it speaks volumes about the skills she brings to her online coverage for us.
Veteran journalist Luis Feliu now adds the weight of his years of experience and local knowledge to our fledgling publication. Luis joined us when the printed Tweed Echo folded earlier this year and continues his incisive focus on the issues facing that part of our region.
I must admit it has been a steep learning curve for me, coming from the highly resourced Fairfax newsroom to a much more grassroots operation here at Echo HQ. It has also been enormously exciting and a great deal of fun.
I am particularly proud of our excellent election guides, which we are regularly updating throughout the campaign. If you haven’t checked them out yet, click on the Election 2012 link and select your local council area. Even if you have read them before, you’ll find a substantial amount of new information has been added since the weekend.
I would like to give special thanks to Echo Guru and founding publisher David Lovejoy, who had the vision and courage to take the plunge – one that has proven so successful. Thanks too, to sales manager Stuart Amos, who ensured we not only survived but thrived in the very challenging circumstances facing publishers worldwide.
Thanks to all the people – paid and unpaid – who have contributed to Echonetdaily, as writers, subeditors, designers, cartoonists, photographers, admin and sales staff.
And thanks, of course, to our readers, who have increased month on month and who continue to provide us with fantastic feedback. At the end of the day, it’s your publication.
It has been a mad, manic, wonderful, incredible first 12 months. We look forward to setting the bar even higher in the coming year.
Chris Dobney, Editor