14.3 C
Byron Shire
July 1, 2022

APN move an ‘attack on independent journalism’

Latest News

Supply chain pain? Try localisation!

A community screening of Local Futures’ new film, 'Planet Local: A Quiet Revolution', will be held today, Friday, July 1, at The Farm in Byron Bay from 6pm. Damon Gameau and Pacha Light will be joining Helena Norberg-Hodge for a discussion afterwards.

Other News

Opinion: Lettuce end food shortages!

Whoever would have thought we’d need to pay $10 for a lettuce in a supermarket? This is a real sign of the times.

Main Arm Upper school are excited to be going ‘back to school’

It has been hard for many young people as they have managed the impacts of COVID over the last few years but for students at Main Arm Upper Public School the flood has meant they've been out of their school for almost half a year.

Labor mulls over the future of persecuted whistleblower and his lawyer, Collaery

While jailed Australian citizen and journalist, Julian Assange, waits for the new Labor government to act on his behalf with US extradition orders from the UK, another whistleblower and his lawyer face court behind closed doors on Australian soil.

Fooling no one

Danny Wakil isn’t fooling anyone (Letters, 15 June). He is obviously pro-Israel, but his tone and talking points belie...

Ballina calls for more SES funding – again

The Ballina Shire Council has agreed to prioritise upgrading of its State Emergency Services base and to call for a new shire-wide incident control centre.

Local triathletes claim another title

The Byron Bay Breakers Triathlon Club has won the North Coast Interclub series for the second time after finishing on top of the table ahead of the Clarence Valley Stingrays and Hat Head Hammerheads.

Tory Abe, Sekisui House’s CEO and managing director development and communities and Neil Monaghan, CEO of Australian Regional Media with Ripley Today. Photo NewspaperWorks
Tory Abe, Sekisui House’s CEO and managing director development and communities and Neil Monaghan, CEO of Australian Regional Media with Ripley Today. Photo NewspaperWorks

Chris Dobney

APN, the publisher of the Northern Star and a clutch of north-coast weekly newspapers, has entered into a partnership with a property developer to launch its latest publication.

The move has been attacked by Echonetdaily GM Simon Haslam as being ‘about as far removed from the concept of independent journalism as it is possible to get.’

It follows the recent announcement that APN’s stable of newspapers is up for sale, with the likely purchaser tipped to be the company’s largest shareholder Rupert Murdoch.

Under the unique arrangement Sekisui House, the developer of Ecco Ripley – a new 2000-home suburb south of Ipswich, has partnered with APN News & Media to launch a monthly newspaper Ripley Today.

According to the website NewspaperWorks, APN will ‘leverage its existing resources, staff and facilities to produce the paper’ with Sekisui House ‘funding a new journalist position to produce specialised Ripley Valley content’ as part of the two-year sponsorship deal.

Sekisui House development manager Frank Galvin told NewspaperWorks, ‘newspapers are one of the most trusted news mediums in communities and creating this publication means residents will be the first to hear about all the exciting developments and events at Ecco Ripley, Ripley Town Centre and the Ripley Valley as a whole.’

But Byron Shire Echo and Echonetdaily managing director Simon Haslam said the deal was anything but a benefit for residents, who could ‘hardly rely on their local newspaper to report impartially on the developer that funds it.’

Mr Haslam joked that ‘paying your own journalist is a much simpler idea than sending press releases; it could be extended to enable developers to direct fund their own councillors, or even legislative staff to enable developers to draft their own new legislation directly.’

But he added, ‘in all seriousness, this kind of arrangement is an attack on the very notion of independent journalism’.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. well at least they’re honest about it, instead of hiding behind ‘free speech’ when the motives are all commercial…

  2. This is an idiotic and irresponsible piece of biased journalism.
    That client publishing deal, of which there are thousands of examples in today’s media landscape, relates to the Ipswich area of Queensland and has nothing to do with The Northern Star or any of the community papers on the North Coast.
    And it is completely transparent arrangement.
    In reference to your publication, I quote a colleague: “I would say the Echo’s long love story to Bluesfest last week, without a single mention of controversy, was probably paid for by advertising dollars and the whole paper should have been called Bluesfest Weekly!”

  3. Mr Haslam seems a little too prone to conspiracy theories.
    Ms Rinehart’s foray onto the realms of Troof, Justice and just mine your own business, has brought abundance for Fairfax shareholders.
    Regal Estate’s developer W.T. Hell has frequently shared sage advice, free of charge, with our Echonetdaily journalist, Luis Feliu, which Feliu should acknowledge has been almost invaluable.

  4. Perusing through your average Echo.. one thing doesnt escape the eye ..an abundance of Real Estate ads and/or infor-mercials ..seriously ..independent journalism ? come on guys you are stretching it a bit arent you? suggesting The Echo is independent when it has to cow tow to the holy dollar as much as anyone else..not sure you are fooling anyone with that one..i didnt see much effort when wikileaks came to town in fact conspicuous by your absence..though to be honest there was one echo employee there


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Dry July to help you and Our House

In July 2008, three mates, Brett, Kenny and Phil, wanted to take a break from alcohol, so decided to abstain for the month of July, coining it their 'Dry July'.

Very wet and very dry: unprecedented droughts and hyper-damaging floods in the future

The world will be pushed to more weather extremes in coming decades, according to two studies which carry stark warnings of floods and droughts, respectively.

Australian-first Surf Series and workshops ends in Lennox Head on Sunday

It might be cold outside but that's not stopping women who love to surf and over 100 women and girls will participate in the first female event series in Australia on Sunday at Lennox Head.

It’s plastic free July!

Did you know that plastic packaging and single-use plastic items make up 60 per cent of all litter in NSW?