Voice that has power to unite us all is still the lo­cal pa­per

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS -

LAST week I was asked to speak to NewsLo­cal ed­i­tors about lead­er­ship and the role of com­mu­nity news­pa­pers in our state.

These are chang­ing times and the role of media is shift­ing. But in the face of this change, peo­ple are still turn­ing to their lo­cal mast­head.

This is be­cause peo­ple have a deep sense of con­nec­tion and own­er­ship with their area; and it is the lo­cal pa­per that brings to­gether the dif­fer­ent threads and speaks with a united voice.

I be­lieve that this lo­cal voice is one that is more rel­e­vant now than ever and I urge you to speak louder than you ever have be­fore.

As Aus­tralians we talk a lot about the rich fab­ric of our mul­ti­cul­tural so­ci­ety, but I be­lieve we still haven’t re­alised how sig­nif­i­cant this is, par­tic­u­larly here in NSW.

We saw this last year on De­cem­ber 15 and 16. There are days that are in­scribed in our col­lec­tive mem­ory, and those 48 hours of the Lindt siege were such days.

One of the most pow­er­ful mo­ments for me was stand­ing at Martin Place, on the edge of that flower trib­ute, with a group of young Mus­lim lead­ers. They said to me they have never felt more part of the city.

Yes, we are all dif­fer­ent. But it is our shared way of life that unites us.

Sub­ur­ban pa­pers will have a role to play, be­cause as we in­creas­ingly move to global, it is more im­por­tant than ever to fo­cus on lo­cal.

By telling tales of the in­di­vid­ual and get­ting to know our com­mu­ni­ties bet­ter, we can un­ravel the stereo­types, break down the myths and talk about in­di­vid­u­als.

And this starts with telling sto­ries.

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