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Our View (25-8-2020): Border Watch closure

SOUTH Australia’s oldest and largest country newspaper, The Border Watch at Mount Gambier, printed its last edition on Friday.

The business’s directors only told staff they were closing The Border Watch, along with its sister papers The South Eastern Times at Millicent and The Penola Pennant, two days earlier. By the weekend, the 159-year-old masthead was no more.

Make no mistake, the closure of these regional papers will have a massive impact on the Mt Gambier and wider South Eastern communities. Anyone who thinks they will just get their news online for this region now is kidding themself. Some ABC reports, a regular magazine, and random people on social media will be able to share a small percentage of the local happenings. But the amount of news pumped out by the Border Watch, SE Times and Pennant — totalling six papers weekly, packed with professional journalism — will not come close to being replaced. That is, of course, unless a new paper starts in its place.

In a tough year for the Australian newspaper industry, with roughly 200 regional titles folding or going on hiatus, the Border Watch closure has been the most shocking of all. This paper won the Country Press SA best newspaper award for the past two years. We were honoured to win in the two years before that, and it almost seemed unfair The Border Watch had since dominated. It was so big; how could other papers compete? Unfortunately, that top-quality product did not translate to a profitable business.

Thankfully at the Yorke Peninsula Country Times it’s far from doom and gloom. We remain well supported by our readers and advertisers, which means locals do not have to miss out on the news most important to them. It is plain to see what can happen if that support dries up, so we thank you all for helping keep your local news service running strong. Rest assured, we’re working hard to repay the faith.

To view full articles in the CURRENT issue click HERE and follow the prompts to subscribe to YPCT-E.
For all previous issues please contact our office on 8821 1155.

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  • Comment Link
    Michael DAlessio Tuesday, 25 August 2020 20:30

    The border watch was great at times, but failed to move with the times and this is the unfortunate result. I get most of my news online, as I did before the paper closed down. I would buy the paper on occasion, and most of what I read in the small handful of pages of the paper had already been reported in more detail days before online. Occasionally it was as lazy as a copy and paste job of what others had reported. I really only used it for the funeral notices and sports results.

    about your comment with regards to a new newspaper, that's already been announced. The SE Voice will start printing in September.

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