Newspapers are not dead!
For some time, mainstream media has not addressed local issues adequately or well. Content and editorial decisions moved away from the local area to centralised newsrooms, even interstate. Amidst the recent upheaval of our lives – firstly the smoke haze from summers bushfires, followed by the even more immediate threat of COVID-19, then universal experience of lockdown – a small group of local people, decided that people who live in Boroondara, Whitehorse and adjacent areas could create their own contemporary version of the ‘local rag’.
The small initiating group has grown much larger and the intention is to publish full editions every two months, but with updates online in between editions. The focus area is home to approximately 350,000 people, about 150,000 households, as well as many business and community groups. All are welcome to contribute. The positive response so far has been encouraging, and the number of contributions continues to grow. We are amazed by the many interests and skills of our fellow citizens in the area and are very confident that there will be a flow of quality articles, photos, advertisements, and other material ongoing.
The requirements are relatively simple, so that everyone has the possibility of contributing – citizen journalists, as well as regular writers. Younger people, older people, and everyone in between, are invited to share their interests, ideas, and stories with fellow citizens. You are warmly invited to contribute to the next edition by the end of September, to be published in early October. Contact details are included on page 2.
Primary intent and purpose
The primary intent and purpose of Eastsider News is to ‘provide a free independent local media platform that focuses on showcasing substantial news about, and affecting, the diversity of local people and their activities’. It is community-based and not-for-profit, rather than commercial. Its business format is as an Incorporated Association operating under Victorian law as Independent Community News Group Incorporated. It aims to recognise the diversity of interests of people in the local area, with transparent accountability.
The current Editorial Team includes five volunteers, all of whom are active in their various communities, but none are political party members. There are another 30 or so local people who are informally providing support through their networks, to suggest how the venture can develop, and sourcing articles. Current funding is provided through donations, but we are seeking funding through grants that support the intent and purpose of the venture, subscription from readers, and a small amount of paid relevant local advertising.