OUR SAY: Deadly Examiner its own story of success
IT TOOK the collation of dozens of stories to create one success story of collaboration.
Every edition of The Daily Examiner contains dozens of components that come together like clockwork every day to make a whole.
But a lot of it is due to systems put in place over many years to simplify the process from one day to the next. By definition, it takes one day of full time work from each member of the newsroom to create each daily edition.
The Deadly Examiner, on the other hand, was not created in a day. While we replicated some regular sections with an indigenous twist - such as Backward Glances for example - the entire paper design was essentially built from scratch.
The idea was pitched more than a year ago. It gained momentum and in the past month weeks' worth of hours went into its creation, mostly from our features editor Lesley Apps and a mountain of voluntary work from members of the indigenous community, in particular special guest editor Janelle Brown, Aunty Jo Randall and Dean Loadsman, who wanted to ensure it was as successful as it could be.
No fewer than 36 bylines appear in the edition - some familiar names of DEX staff but mostly from members of the community. The wide variety of content included news articles, sport stories, native language pieces, editorials, historic references, traditional recipes, artworks, poems, a puzzle and a quiz.
It was a monumental task that required a great deal of cooperation, teamwork and belief.
It was, in essence, a watershed moment in Australian history, being - as Ms Brown pointed out in her editorial - "the first time a mainstream newspaper dedicated an entire edition to feature stories and events pertaining to its First Nations people”.
It was a courageous effort from those Yaegl, Bundjalung and Gumbaynggirr people who contributed. But I don't think what we did as a newspaper was necessarily a controversial, or even bold, exercise. It just took foresight, acceptance and a bit of extra elbow grease - particularly from Lesley Apps - to go above and beyond the regular routine.
The feedback yesterday was overwhelmingly positive. I acknowledge that the concept didn't sit comfortably for every reader. In our business we live with the fact we cannot please everybody all of the time. But I do feel comfortable with the notion that as the leading media outlet in the region, if we can do something that helps take positive steps towards promoting a more inclusive Clarence Valley, then it's a job worthwhile.
DEX Open Day to celebrate 160 years
While The Deadly Examiner is a fantastic exclamation mark in this publication's 160th year, we will formally recognise the milestone with an Open Day at The Daily Examiner office on Friday, June 21 - the same date as the first edition in 1859.
The Clarence River Historical Society volunteers at Schaeffar House are feverishly putting together an exhibition to showcase our 160-year history, which will be launched at our Open Day.
The Daily Examiner is the oldest continuous regional daily masthead in New South Wales and one of the oldest businesses in the Clarence Valley. We are proud of its legacy and privileged to carry the baton into the future.
I would like to personally invite everyone who previously worked at The Daily Examiner - as well as the broader community - to join us at our office at 55 Fitzroy St, Grafton for morning tea between 9am and 12pm on June 21 to check out the exhibition and meet our current team.
I look forward to meeting you.