Local newspaper story back on track for Maroubra Business Media

Local newspaper story back on track for Maroubra Business Media; Community people power thank you, by Greg Tingle - September 2017

Gonzo journalism style scribbles from Maroubra Beach

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I was recently pleased to hear that a local community newspaper has our Maroubra Business Media MeetUp back in the running for local newspaper coverage.

At one point I had all but given up on the coverage after another journalist advised me that it looked as if it was pulled and "too commercial". I quickly advised them that I could give them a powerful story covering some of my trials and tribulations in and around news media that was anything but commercial, and in fact was so powerful in its raw form that it would have to be watered down.

Image, presentation and media pitches are a funny beast. We live in this image possessed world, where people judge by the clothes you wear, your school, your car, your address, who you know and so on.

Trust me - I can play the image game with the best of them, with name drops to full a book, but I don't really enjoy the image and can you top this and guess who I recently met game. It is a game - a game of life and a game of business. You win some, you loose some.

Anyway, back to the point and the essence of this story... a local newspaper is more likely than not going to run with a story that I initially tipped them off on close to a month ago.

Newspapers are often under resourced and time poor. This was even the case before the internet and social media was invented, so you can only just imagine. For those who don't know I previously had a successful stint at The Sydney Morning Herald (advertising - property and cars) as well as for the Rural Weekly newspaper (APN News Media), in a one year adventure in the Australian Outback, based out of Alice Springs. I have first hand experience of the pressure and sometimes restrictions that goes with working for one of the big newspapers in Australia.

I don't know about you but I find it pretty interesting to witness the ongoing battle for news, readership, eyeballs and advertisers that is played out daily between News Limited (The Daily Telegraph, The Australian, The Courier-Mail), News.com.au and Fairfax Media (The Sydney Morning Herald, Brisbane Times, The Age etc, and then you have 'Aunty' (ABC, looking to use every trick in the book to compete, including Google advertising based strategies, and then there's SBS and their stir the pot and sometimes controversial topics and style of reporting. By the way, got to love Viceland right.

Then there's the citizen journalism - anyone with a smartphone and Facebook account. Even more dangerous and influential if you run a YouTube channel. News king Rupert Murdoch himself said on citizen journalism and the newspaper industry back in April 2005:

"What is happening is, in short, a revolution in the way young people are accessing news. They don't want to rely on the morning paper for their up-to-date information. They don't want to rely on a God-like figure from above to tell them what's important. And to carry the religion analogy a bit further, they certainly don't want news presented as gospel.

"Instead, they want their news on demand, when it works for them. They want control over their media, instead of being controlled by it. They want to question, to probe, to offer a different angle. Think about how blogs and message boards revealed that Kryptonite bicycle locks were vulnerable to a Bic pen. Or the Swiftboat incident. Or the swift departure of Dan Rather from CBS. One commentator, Jeff Jarvis, puts it this way: give the people control of media, they will use it. Don't give people control of media, and you will lose them.

"In the face of this revolution, however, we've been slow to react. We've sat by and watched while our newspapers have gradually lost circulation. We all know of great and expensive exceptions to this - but the technology is now moving much faster than in the past."

So my friends - those of you still reading, even Mr Murdoch knows that nature of the newspapers and news business in general is rapidly changing. In plain terms, I think its fair to say its getting tougher and more competitive as to ways to make a good buck out of it. There's just so many players looking to gain your attention.

Maroubra Business Media and the Media Man group, where you are reading this, very much appreciates your support. We love helping inform, if not entertain you. We also enjoy shining a spotlight on many worthy causes out there, many of which are community based and not commercial at all. In fact, let me take this opportunity to give a big shout out and kudos at the good folks at JNC (Maroubra, Randwick and Bondi), Police Citizens Youth Club, The Salvation Army, St Vinnies, beyondblue, Anglicare, Waves Of Wellness, OneWave Is All It Takes, GenerationOne and Youth Off The Streets. There's too many worthy causes to list, and as boss of this media outfit, I can tell you that I've always got great enjoyment and satisfaction from doing community based news and projects, often having the chance to get my hands dirty. Some of my fondest life and career moments have come from the community sector. Always a soft spot for the old Channel 31, which became TVS Sydney, later Channel 58, where I enjoyed many years as a television presenter under the tutelage of the late, great Joy Hruby OAM.

If I ever write a book covering the news media industry I will most assuredly be giving significant coverage to the community media sector. Community by nature is generally true news and journalism, far away from political donations, functions sponsored by banks and corporate backers. Speaking of journalism, R.I.P Peter Luck, our own neighborhood community media associate from Balmain. Waterview St was a beautiful street, as the name suggests. Peter was by all accounts a true journalist. I love doing pure journalism, however as I have covered a few times recently, I'm yet to discover a sustainable business model to just do straight down the line journalism as a business. The Guardian out of the UK are giving it a good crack, I've been following their progress with an eagle eye.

Let's here it for Community News, and thank you to all the hard working journalists, editors and program directors out there. News media is not for the faint of heart.

In another newsy development, we have been exploring the world of Co Working spaces such as Fishburners, as well as looking further into the future of news via apps, online publishing platforms, industry niche specific news outlets and such. There's a lot to take it. At some point we may even set up in one of these Sydney CBD based spaces, but for the moment we're pretty happy in our frequent meeting places around Maroubra Beach and Bondi Beach. Can't blame us for that right. Still, if the deal is right just maybe we could become an in-house journalism or publicity / project management facilitator. As a media firm, one would be nuts to be on the lookout for more projects that create further stabilization, not to mention income potential, in one of the toughest industries in the world - NEWS.

Before you ask, Yes, we are making further inroads into the exciting and potentially very lucrative sectors of Bitcoin and Blockchain. I promise to give our readers more detail when I can. At the moment its on strictly a need to know basis.

Oh, Eastern Beaches of Sydney media, tech and community news types... if you ever get a chance to get out of your office on a Friday and come along to our Maroubra Beach based Community Business Media MeetUps, we would love to see you. Starts at 10am. You might even get some free exposure out of it, as many have already done so already. Free is non commercial, and we enjoy supporting local people and projects, be it via an interview, free exposure via websites, or even via a free coffee every now and again. Let's drink to that hey.

News Limited / News Corp king Rupert Murdoch (not a devil in disguise as some media and public have sometimes suggested).


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John Shakespeare, Illustrator and cartoonist: The Sydney Morning Herald - July 2017

Brittany Bloomer, Television presenter, new media producer, media entrepreneur and founder of Pound Paws - June 2017

Preity Üpala feature - June 2017

Gabrielle Reilly, social and community entrepreneur, political and media analyst, founder The Global Townhall - March 2015

Max Markson, Director of Markson Sparks! - 2nd July 2003

Derryn Hinch, by Greg Tingle: 19th January 2003

Barbara Barkhausen, Foreign Correspondent: 17th July 2003

Paul Budde, Managing Director, BuddeComm - 10th July 2003

Michael Tancredi, Founder of OnlineNewspapers.com - 1st June 2003

Daryl Cagle, Founder of Cagle Cartoons and Editorial Cartoonist for Slate: 7th June 2003

Joy Hruby, Producer, Presenter, Actor & Author, Joy's World & The Dubbo Dazzlers: 29th July 2003


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