17.6 C
Byron Shire
April 15, 2024

APN move an ‘attack on independent journalism’

Latest News

Bangalow retaining wall damage

The wall supporting the western end of Deacon Street has failed – opposite the Roman Catholic Church. Fortunately, this...

Other News

Mayor’s Wallum negotiations unsupported

An update on closed-door deals around the controversial Wallum development by Mayor Michael Lyon has been criticised as not providing any commitment, trading one endangered species for another, while also ignoring the input from the Save Wallum group.

Bangalow retaining wall damage

The wall supporting the western end of Deacon Street has failed – opposite the Roman Catholic Church. Fortunately, this...

Itching for a Mullum flea market?

A new flea market will launch this Saturday, April 13 from 8am until 2pm at the Mullum Community College campus.

Global map shows how climate change is transforming winegrowing regions

Climate change is altering growing conditions for the world’s famous winegrowing regions which, although bustling today, may no longer be suitable in the future.

Weighing in on Gaza and Israel

I’ve hesitated to weigh in on the ongoing debate about Gaza and Israel, but Michal Schiff’s pain over the...

Man charged over alleged child approaches – Coffs/Clarence

A man has appeared in court today charged following an investigation into an alleged child approaches at Red Rock last week.

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.

6 COMMENTS

  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

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

We wonder why

Living in Byron Shire the majority of people continue to ask why is this organisation continuously letting this community down as far as representing...

Aid workers killed

I along with the Israeli and Jewish community in general mourn with the rest of the world for the tragic loss of the seven...

Rains, drains, floods

The ABC news and Guardian recently published reports of the potential return of La Niña in 2024 bringing similar rain to 2022. We just experienced...

Peace

Elimination by people-power voting is necessary to remove dictators from Russia, Israel, China, Iran, wannabe (again!) North Korea, to avoid what is heading toward...