Regional Wrap: Naracoorte Community News, South Australia

Regional Wrap: Naracoorte Community News, South Australia

Stretching along South Australia's southeastern coast to the Victorian border, the Limestone Coast region boasts picturesque beaches, some of the country's best wineries and a thriving agricultural industry. The region is also home to local newspaper, Naracoorte Community News. 

To find out more about the paper and the community it serves, Telum spoke to Editor / Founder, Michael Waite.

Tell us a bit about Naracoorte Community News.
Our mission is to deliver comprehensive coverage of local news, activities and sports. Our two core values are respect and sustainability. We launched in May 2020 after the 145-year-old paper in our community paused, as part of a corporate decision to leave communities without local stories. We are grateful to have won the support of our region. Our The News Gives Back program has contributed over AU$40,000 to local service, arts and sports groups in our region in our first year.

The paper goes on sale each Wednesday across the Limestone Coast in southeastern South Australia and Western Victoria. We were grateful to have some media coverage of our own story along the way. A few of the stories are available here

Are there any regular features and sections in your paper that people should be aware of?
Our journalists focus on providing the community service of covering local councils (all five of them!), and the core issues of regional sustainability, healthcare, education, communication (mobile phone and internet coverage), and infrastructure (roads, sewers, bridges, etc.). Our community does the rest, with guest columns on various topics. The most famous ones are Farm Hand - an agriculture column - and Bush Turkey - a sports column. We have several other regular columns in the paper.

For our community, we also run a steady features calendar (1 to 2 per month) that focus on agriculture, education (such as boarding schools in SA and VIC), healthcare, commercial and residential construction, etc. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have a story idea.

Tell us about Naracoorte - What do people need to know about your community?
Naracoorte is the heart of the Limestone Coast region in the southeast of South Australia. Our paper serves communities from Keith, Bordertown (in the Tatiara District), to Penola, and from southeast Kingston and Robe on the coast, across to Edenhope and Goroke in Western Victoria.

What are the main industries in the region?
We have a thriving agricultural industry, a meatworks, world heritage-listed caves, the Coonawarra and Padthaway wine regions, the coastal communities of southeast Kingston and Robe, and farmers across the entire southeastern region of South Australia and Western Victoria.

Are there any particular town or district events and festivals people should be aware of?
We have lots of events, plus we print free community notices where groups write short stories about upcoming events and reviews after events take place.

Most famous resident or ex-resident from the area?
It definitely depends on who you ask in our community and how you define it. Let's go with the most famous right now: Lachie Neale, 2020 Brownlow Medallist.

What are your top PR tips for story pitches? Your main Do’s and Don’ts.
Our paper’s masthead includes the words “Comprehensive, Local, Ours”. Our independence is our strength. We are a AU$2 weekly book for our clients. Any message needs to connect with our community. For example, if you keep your message short (less than 300 words) and tie in the relevant data for our communities and / or region (i.e. within a one-hour drive of Naracoorte) we will do our best to share it with our readers.

Please, please, please don’t make your pitches read like a press release. Our community notices run with a headline and byline. Our readers trust we have screened out anything that is not relevant to our community.

Answers submitted by Michael Waite, Editor / Founder of Naracoorte Community News.
Photo credit: Kate Hill

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