A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

A start-up local community newspaper closed when a big competitor offers free ads

Mackay Local News launched in February this year following the sudden closure of the Daily Mercury by News Corp.

Established by local business people, the Mackay Local News quickly filled a gap, an interest in genuinely local news.

A few days ago, the folks behind the Mackay Local News decided to close. I’ll let them explain, in their own words:

Mackay Local News newspaper ceases publication

The directors and shareholders of Mackay Local News Pty Ltd announced to staff on Thursday September 2 that the paper would cease publication immediately.

 

The directors and shareholders of Mackay Local News Pty Ltd announced to staff on Thursday September 2 that the paper would cease publication immediately.

Despite being recognised as the best quality newspaper based in Mackay, with the highest content of local community news, views and sport, and with the largest staff of any local publication, the directors believed the market was entering a destructive ‘media bloodbath’.

Advertisers had been approached by competitors with offers of ‘free ads’.

Rather than reduce quality or participate in a destructive media war, the directors believed this to be the fairest outcome for all involved.

The directors would like to thank the thousands of locals who regularly bought, read and responded to the paper, and the tens of thousands who visited the FREE mackaylocalnews.com.au website, as well as the local businesses who showed real dollar support by advertising their wares and services at a fair and reasonable price.

Mackay Local News was first published in February 2021, in response to vocal local concerns about the sudden closure of the Daily Mercury by foreign controlled News Corporation in June 2020, and protests about their paywalled website.

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