The media has changed quite dramatically since my retirement as the News editor six years ago.
As the scope of newspapers shrink – and papers continued to fold – news is even more localised.
Today, so many people get the latest on the internet from mobile phones or television, almost instantly as it happens.
But for 10 years I loved my role on the Hills News and Courier, writing for what I considered one of the most diverse, interesting and educated audiences in Sydney.
I lived in The Hills for 30 years after long stints in TV and city newspapers and when I moved in to Greenvale Place in Castle Hill there was a dairy farm in Excelsior Avenue, east.
I’m most proud of successfully pushing for a north-west paper that initially launched as The Northern News, now Rouse Hill Courier.
These were long and fraught days, publishing two newspapers with deadlines hours apart.
But they were exciting times and it never ceased to amaze me how many extraordinary stories of truly memorable people we covered each week.
I made lifelong friends in The Hills and they will be gutted to see the end of an era spanning more than 60 years.
Now, as I look in retirement out of the upstairs windows over Lake Cathie, just south of Port Macquarie, I’m saddened to think all that effort by so many creative people over the decades has come to an end.
But with one closure comes a new beginning - and I wish the company and the accomplished staff a fresh start – in whatever they do.
Former editor Col Allison
The News and it’s sister paper the Courier have been so successful due to the local knowledge and community engagement of editors and the team of journalists.
As the federal Member for Mitchell for ten years, I have enjoyed the relationship with journalists and the editors.
With the fearless reporting of Col Allison and the passion of Heloise Reece for our community and raising the issues to The Hills district.
In this current media climate and the huge impact of social media and technology where everyone has news at their fingertips, sadly the readership of local newspapers has declined.
I hope that the decision the Fairfax Media is taking with the rollout of a magazine for The Hills district in 2018 will continue to have the local reporting content that highlights the issues of importance to our community.
I thank the faithful team under the leadership of Heloise Reece for their steadfast commitment to bringing up to date news and local interest stories to the readers of the News.
I wish them every success in their future direction.
Mitchell MP Alex Hawke