Australia has lost – at least for the moment – one of its new wave of printed community newspapers with the decision last week of the Richmond River Independent to stop printing.
The decision ends production of the free Casino, New South Wales paper “for the foreseeable future” after 63 issues. It is not clear whether the option of charging a cover price was canvassed.
Editor Susanna Freymark says her dream of editing “ an independent newspaper free from the shackles of a corporation” has faltered as the COVID-19 pandemic impacts business advertisers.
“If business is having a tough time, so are we, and each slow week took the paper closer to the edge.
“I was mourning its end before it came,” she says in the September 29 issue.
Freymark says she has decided to leave after the community association’s committee announced a four-issue pause, “unable to bear the thought of a vacuum of local news”.
Instead she is going online, launching the IndyNR.com website announced in the Independent’s latest print edition. She will continue to focus on the Kyogle and Richmond Valley local government areas in which she has worked for the last seven years.