OPIN­ION: Why I don’t have a favourite story

Gatton Star - - NEWS - Ali Kuchel, edi­tor

I HAVE come to a point in my ca­reer where it’s al­most im­pos­si­ble to go to the su­per­mar­ket with­out run­ning into some­one I know from the com­mu­nity. And to me, it’s a sign that I’ve made it in my pro­fes­sion in this ru­ral south­east town called Gat­ton.

When I ar­rived in town five years ago, I didn’t know a sin­gle soul – to­day (which in­cludes my one-year hia­tus back in South Aus­tralia) it’s the com­plete op­po­site.

I’d be ly­ing if I said I wasn’t dev­as­tated the Gat­ton Star will cease print­ing this month, and tran­si­tion to a dig­i­tal-only pres­ence.

I have loved print. De­sign­ing pages, choos­ing where to put the sto­ries, tak­ing cre­ative pho­tos and of course work­ing on cap­ti­vat­ing front pages.

Yes, it’s the end of a print era, it’s sad, but it doesn’t mean my jour­nal­ism stops, or my ded­i­ca­tion to the com­mu­nity.

I hon­estly can’t re­call a favourite story from my time in Gat­ton. There’s been so many sto­ries I’ve writ­ten dur­ing my journo days, or helped my team with as an edi­tor.

Each story has its own mer­its for be­ing a favourite.

For me, the high­lights are the friend­ships, the ran­dom catch-ups in the street and what went on dur­ing the in­ter­views that I love the most.

For ex­am­ple, ask­ing the mayor to perch her­self in the town’s CBD round­about and pre­tend she was sit­ting un­der a gi­gan­tic broc­coli.

Spend­ing a good 20 min­utes throw­ing baby spinach leaves in the air over and over to get the best photo pos­si­ble.

Or the count­less times I’ve trekked out for farm­ing sto­ries, only to come back with mud caked all over my boots. And most re­cently, be­ing of­fered a ride in a cot­ton picker – some­thing I’ve never ex­pe­ri­enced.

It’s these mo­ments, build­ing re­la­tion­ships and friend­ships, I’ve loved the most.

The best thing about our move to dig­i­tal is that these mo­ments can con­tinue.

I un­der­stand the death of print is a sad time, but don’t give up on the Gat­ton Star. I for one am look­ing for­ward to hear­ing your sto­ries and pub­lish­ing them in the dig­i­tal sphere.

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