It is with both sadness and excitement that I announce the February 1 issue of The Warragul Citizen will be the paper’s last regular print issue for the foreseeable future.
The 2,000-run print edition of the paper has been serving Warragul since June 2011 with great success, but with the rise in popularity of the online component of the paper the print edition has become harder to manage.
I am the only staff member of The Warragul Citizen. I am about to begin my final year at university and have recently taken a part-time job with the Melbourne Press Club.
Regular free online news has become a key and popular component of The Warragul Citizen – a component which can no longer just be dropped every time the print edition requires attention.
These factors – university, online content obligations and other work – mixed with the highly involved print edition production process have contributed to my decision to place the print edition of the paper on hiatus.
The online component will continue as normal. In fact, the online component is the exciting part – the time once used on producing the print edition will go toward making this service even better.
The launch of The Pakenham Citizen was not a factor in this decision – that paper was launched after the decision to suspend print editions and will run in a different, less-involved way to The Warragul Citizen.
(Student journalists interested in writing for either The Pakenham Citizen or The Warragul Citizen should contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
I am committed to keeping The Warragul Citizen going, but need your help to build the paper’s audience to make sure I can afford to do so after I leave university.
Every free paper needs a strong audience to keep going. Please let your friends know about the paper, and especially let them know about the free email update service which now keeps 1,177 people informed about what is happening in Baw Baw.
The website has clocked up 38,700 hits from about 17,000 individual viewers this month already, which is over 19 times the run of the print edition. The total for the entire of January last year was 1,475 hits.
The website now reaches more people in one day than the print edition does every two months.
I hope that by the end of next year the online following will be big enough for me to hire a second journalist, meaning regular print editions may be able to return.
No matter what happens I feel the future of this publication is a great one: it is just too great for one person to handle at the moment.
I would like to thank everyone who has helped with the print edition, from committed advertisers to Easy Az printers whose flexibility has suited my disorganisation perfectly. The work has certainly not gone to waste – the print edition has given authority to the online name.
Look out for Issue 9 of The Warragul Citizen – out on the afternoon of Friday, 1 February 2013. Advertising options are available: email email@example.com.
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