Ipswich is undergoing a dramatic change to the media landscape and that means good news for the community.
New print, radio, online and podcast offerings, to mention a few, have seen Ipswich residents getting more Ipswich City Council information and general news about the region.
The Queensland Times remains a strong presence in the city after its recent transition from print to purely online, while Ipswich-based ABC television/radio/online reporters regularly cover the western region. Ipswich is also well served by River 949 and weekly magazine Moreton Border News.
While many commentators suggest the demise of media operations as we know it because of the likes of Facebook and Google, Ipswich seems to be bucking the trend.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said it was disappointing when News Corp made cuts to regional print publications earlier this year, including the Queensland Times, however the overall media landscape was encouraging.
“The end of print for the Queensland Times impacted a large number of residents, however I am pleased to see new media opportunities emerge. More community news, more opportunities for the community’s voices to be heard,” Mayor Harding said.
“A range of online and print media options enables council to stay in touch with residents and ratepayers and provide up-to-date information on what’s happening across our city.”
Here is a look at the evolving landscape:
West Bremer Radio
While broadcasting for some time, West Bremer Radio has now brought its local voice to the heart of the Ipswich CBD, opening a new studio in Brisbane Street, Top of Town, in July 2020.
Station Manager Bradley Clarke said the station now broadcasts a mix of news, sport, information and entertainment, by locals for locals, from the new premises.
“To be right in the thick of things, close to Ipswich City Council, local business and just down the road from the new CBD redevelopment, means we can have the finger on the pulse of Ipswich. It will be so easy for guests to drop in live on shows, and for our presenters to really feel a part of the city,” Mr Clarke said.
West Bremer Radio has a strong line-up of presenters delivering local content and on Monday announced a new voice with industry veteran and Brassall resident Peter Carey behind the microphone from 9am each weekday with his Morning Magazine show.
West Bremer Radio broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, online at www.westbremerradio.com.au as well as the West Bremer Radio App available to download for free from the Apple Store or Google Play for Android devices.
The Fassifern Guardian & Tribune
The Tribune in the title signifies the new Ipswich edition of this long-standing newspaper, which has been covering the Scenic Rim for almost 120 years.
Editor Drew Creighton was delighted with the launch this week, with about 5000 copies in newsagents across the city.
He said this Ipswich-specific edition will be covering council news, plus providing analysis of events in the city.
“It is important to create that sense of community,” Mr Creighton said.
He said Ipswich residents were disappointed to lose the print edition of the Queensland Times and he was certain there was still a place for local newspapers, printing community news.
“We print, the internet follows,” says the masthead.
“Having a strong newspaper in the region can only mean good things for the region,” Mr Creighton said.
With two new reporters covering the Ipswich beat, you can read the news on the printed page for $1.50 or at www.fassifernguardian.com/news
The Local Bulletin
Owner/editor Barry Searle has been printing his monthly glossy-covered independent community newspaper in Brisbane West for 24 years.
He recently started expanding into Ipswich and covering council news.
Mr Searle, an Ipswich resident, said The Local Bulletin had been a regular feature in Karalee and surrounding suburbs, but he wanted to move east.
“Residents are definitely looking for more community news and we provide a good mix of everything,” he said.
The 48-page A4 sized paper had significant printing costs each month and Mr Searle intended to source State or Federal Government grants going forward.
He was also looking at starting up specific editions in Springfield and Ipswich Central.
“Ipswich is a big area and I am not sure one paper for the whole area in sufficient. I have been talking to people in Springfield, we are looking at something,” he said.
While there is some household delivery around Ipswich, you can read it online at www.thelocalbulletin.news
This new podcast provides news and views for residents, visitors and businesses in the City of Ipswich, an independent production featuring local stories and news about Ipswich City Council, its mayor and councillors for the city.
Ipswich Today is produced and presented by veteran newsman and former council media manager Allan Roebuck.
“It is probably best to describe the podcast as a niche product of specific interest to people living and/or doing business in Ipswich,” he said.
Mr Roebuck originally launched it as Ipswich Election Watch on 27 February 2020. The series evolved into Ipswich Today from 23 April 2020.
“It features local stories and news from Ipswich City Council, its mayor and councillors. On average eight podcasts are produced each month,” he said.
Ipswich Today is available on all smart speakers and most popular podcast apps including Apple, Google, Spotify, TuneIn and iHeartRadio.
A regional community-based newspaper which is distributed to homes up and down the east coast will soon be appearing in Ipswich letterboxes.
A 24-page Ipswich-specific edition kicks off next week, covering council news and what’s on across the region, and is scheduled to come out each month.
Brisbane-based Local Newsroom reporter Lara Caughey will be tuning in to committee and council meetings and visiting the Heritage City regularly looking for local content.
“It is an exciting opportunity to present community news and for people here to tell their stories,” Ms Caughey said.
Another newcomer to community news is Ipswich Local, which will be distributed free of charge to the mailbox and available in shopping centres and various retail outlets across the region.
The 32-page monthly offering is a mixture of community news, shopping/retail, fashion, trade services, motoring, local real estate, health and wellbeing, dining and entertainment.
“Shop local, buy local, support local,” is the Ipswich Local mantra.
“With the recent closure of QT community news, we have established a low level of print media options with Ipswich City region to support local businesses advertise their products and services to their local community,” said DTH’s media specialist Kim Draper.
DTH Media (Direct to Home) is publishing Ipswich Local and Ms Draper said it will feature council news and other interesting community items, launching on 13 October.
“It is very exciting. We have had some really good responses. We are trying to bring something just for Ipswich,” she said.