Sunshine Coast Daily editorial staff. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.
Sunshine Coast Daily editorial staff. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.

Without these guys you get a ‘democracy deficit’

IS IT just me or did everyone never think they would see the day?

News Corp has announced this newspaper will close its printed division from the end of June.

Most of us grew up in a household that bought the paper every day.

It either landed on the lawn and you got wet feet retrieving it for your parents or, like me, your dad sent you to the paper shop with enough coins for the daily rag and a packet of Lifesavers.

Hatched, matched and despatched was compulsory reading, kids stole the comics, and if your photo ever made it to the paper, that clipping is probably still in a drawer at your mum's house.

COVID-19 has changed the way we do business.

Newspapers going digital might have been inevitable but I am shocked it was so swift. And sad.

So what happens next?

In 2020, there are too many people vying for your attention. There is a blizzard of information out there but it's not local.

Today you are more likely to know what Prince Harry did for his anniversary than what council approved in your own town.

In the same way, you might have browsed online more often this year than made a trip to the shops.

I know we can't stop the shift, but I am just wondering if we will regret it?

The local newspaper reflects the town in which we live.

Our celebrations, our divisions, our battlers and our heroes.

It is a place for people to put their stories on permanent public record and the only place where elected officials are truly held to account.

Television and radio might escalate the debate but it is short-form reporting.

We rely on newspapers for the back story.

For centuries, newspapers have upheld democracy. Disclosures by journalists have brought down ministers and toppled governments.

On a boring day, they are the link between the public and what is happening in our courts and parliaments.

Journalists are the only ones providing news and analysis of the big players.

Newspapers are the most accurate recorded history we have.

And just to be clear, the Daily isn't going anywhere. There is a strong team of dedicated journalists still covering this community.

We just have to follow them online. Have to, or we will lose them. And the only local "news" we receive will be written by PR agencies.

I think you call that a "democracy deficit".

We can all have our own social-media account, but without a local paper, we lose our communal voice.

To the Daily journos who provide that voice, I am sorry for not thanking you sooner.

I can't turn the tide but I can promise to follow you online and pay for your services.

Hang in there. We need you.