Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Notes from the Newstead Echo session

Thanks to Bronwyn for taking notes at a session where the guests were almost outnumbered by the presenters! If you read this and have the time we'd love to know where we are going wrong (or perhaps not!)

MAY 28TH, 2016
Newstead Echo Committee members presented on the history, production process and future of the local community newspaper.
Gordon Dowell outlined the history of Newstead’s Echo in its various forms from a commercial newspaper in the 1890s with a focus on mining in the local area to the current Newstead Echo that now appears monthly online and as a free paper edition.

Janet Trudgeon’s powerpoint presentation set out the process involved in producing the monthly newspaper. 
Volunteers are needed to fill a variety of roles and share the workload.
Desktop publishing (Microsoft Publisher) - Janet & Geoff are the only 2 committee members who perform this important task; at least 2 others are needed to learn what is required in case neither Janet nor Geoff are available. 
Roving Reporters - to cover sports and social events. A digital camera is available for anyone wanting to develop their skills. Ideal opportunity for High School students to start a career.
Photos (clear, in jpeg format are welcomed) 
Posting online edition on Website
Interviewing neighbours - Why do you love or live in Newstead?
Interviewing local identities
Paper folding
Contact a Committee Member: Janet Trudgeon on 5476 2437

Mount Alexander currently photocopies the Echo. During Council election period (September/October 2016) other arrangements will need to be made to print the Echo adding to the costs for the Committee. Despite 500 copies distributed only an average of $70.00 is collected in donation tins to assist with expenses.
Reminder emails sent out advising Echo deadline, but more than half the contributions arrive late, adding to the pressure on the volunteer committee to prepare the paper on time each month. There are two pre-editors who view the articles in advance. Unpredictable process as some months contributions are scarce, others too many to fit into the 12 page format.

A series of editorial meetings are held to determine layout and what makes the  front page. Task of proofreading is essential, accuracy for dates and details, checked again throughout the editing process.

The paper folding group meets to fold & collate the 500 copies which they then deliver to outlets in and around Newstead.

Tips for contributors appear on the last page of each issue of the Echo:
Logos for regular contributors are kept on file - so no need to send with article.
Photos need to be high quality, clear, uncropped.Send 2-3 photos in jpeg format so the most suitable can be selected for photocopied format.
Don’t like hyphenation
Headings - don’t use capitals
Auto format used

Policy of no paid advertising continues. New businesses to town will be promoted.
Annual liftout of local businesses is proposed if enough business people show interest & submit their details.
The Echo has a policy of non-political content - other than when candidates have their say in leadup to Council elections.

Brendan Walker considered the Future. Does the Newstead Echo have a future?
Agreement that there is most definitely a future and current need for the Echo to continue.
News around town
Community building
Local history recorded for the future

What should be covered?
Rainfall readings around the district as falls can be so variable.
Approximately 125 downloads online. The online edition shows photos in colour and includes an online archive.
Old back issues of the Echo in its many mastheads and formats were on display.
Lively discussions followed over coffee supplied by Rocket Science host, Ron Snep of Welshmans Reef Winery.

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