Hold the front page

It’s good to know our readers can take a joke.

We had a huge response to our April Fool’s mischief with the rooftop pool on the Olley gallery last week, with lots of people emailing, writing and ringing to say thanks for making them laugh and letting us know we fooled them.

We also had some lovely letters with some beautiful sentiments about how to work with the concept and some ideas for the betterment of Lismore.

It was for our editorial team, including me, a powerful lesson in the power of the media.

People assumed that because it was on our front page, it must be true. And please let me assure readers that in every other case except April Fool’s they can rely on us to faithfully and accurately report – we certainly make every effort to check every piece of information we print and where there is any doubt, leave it out.

I’ve been watching and listening with interest to recent theories about newspapers, the internet and the future of news.

There’s no question the ad hoc democracy of the internet has changed both how we interpret and report news. Easy access to digital technology means almost anyone can write something and have it published somewhere in cyberspace. But that doesn’t make them a journalist; it just means they’ve got computer access.

The big players in the newspaper game have been a bit uncertain how to deal with the competition the internet provides as far as news delivery goes, but are addressing the issue by embracing new technology.

It’s good to know the top end of the market has found a business solution that will hopefully mean they can reverse the trend of firing journalists and expecting people to do the same job with less resources, which should lead to a resurgence in good journalism.

In our small neck of the woods, it’s also good to know that people still believe in the power of the written word – even if it took a joke to learn it.


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