The Daily Examiner editor Bill North.
The Daily Examiner editor Bill North.

FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK: Launching into the new digital age

DEAR valued subscriber,

What a week it has been. We bid a fond farewell to the 161-year history of our print edition, and said goodbye to a number of really good people in the process.

In case you missed our final 64-page souvenir print edition on Saturday, June 27, here it is.

The front page of the very last edition of The Daily Examiner's 161-year print history on 27th June, 2020.
The front page of the very last edition of The Daily Examiner's 161-year print history on 27th June, 2020.

There was much, much more to our coverage, however, that couldn't possibly all fit in the print product, such as 75 of Walkley Award winning photographer Adam Hourigan's best Daily Examiner photos of the decade, 25 'souvenirs' of the past as shared by you, and my own personal collection of 85 favourite front pages from the past three years as editor of The Daily Examiner.

It is the end of an era, but also the start of an exciting new chapter for regional journalism.

In these uncertain times what I can assure you is the one part of The Daily Examiner that hasn't changed is our journalism. We continue to have a team on the ground locally reporting on local news and events, and fighting for local people on local issues.

 

The team leading The Daily Examiner into the digital-only era consists of sports editor Mitch Keenan, deputy editor Jarrard Potter, chief photographer Adam Hourigan, digital producer Jenna Thompson and editor Bill North. Tim Jarrett has joined the team at Coffs Coast Advocate, but will continue to report on Clarence Valley Council meetings.
The team leading The Daily Examiner into the digital-only era consists of sports editor Mitch Keenan, deputy editor Jarrard Potter, chief photographer Adam Hourigan, digital producer Jenna Thompson and editor Bill North. Tim Jarrett has joined the team at Coffs Coast Advocate, but will continue to report on Clarence Valley Council meetings.

 

To our enormous number of new subscribers who have signed up in the past month, and in particular this week, welcome aboard. Many of you are no doubt loyal print readers who have decided to give our online platform a chance. Thank you. I promise the hardest part of reading your news online is starting up. You'll be a digital warrior before you know it.

 

Believe it or not, just about everything that used to appear in the print edition is available on our website. I understand some of you have found navigating the site and finding all these little goodies a little tricky. Each week I will reach out with these emails, and will make sure I include plenty of tips to help you find what you're looking for and enhance your digital experience.

 

<< Check out our basic help guide to The Daily Examiner subscribers here >>

 

And to our existing subscribers... with 100 per cent of our time now dedicated to our digital product, we can now deliver you more value for your subscription. This email, which also includes a weekly wrap up of the big stories you may have missed, being one example.

 

I understand many of you love reading the paper the traditional way by flicking through the pages - whether it be in your hands or on your device. Without a print product being created, this of course has meant the digital print edition has not appeared this week. However, I beg you to please be patient, and stay tuned for a new version of it, a special eight-page Digital Edition highlighting all our latest local stories as they would have appeared in the paper. It's in development and will be ready to launch within a fortnight.

Lawrence Croquet Club: Kathleen Trim, Karen Marsden and Carole Radford explain just how tough you have to be to join the Lawrence Croquet Club.
Lawrence Croquet Club: Kathleen Trim, Karen Marsden and Carole Radford explain just how tough you have to be to join the Lawrence Croquet Club.

To help maintain our physical presence in the community, this week we kicked off our Roving Reporter series. Digital producer Jenna Thompson was the first to pound the pavement and try out a new 'virtual newsroom', at Lawrence on Tuesday.

Her visit included sharing some banter with the local croquet club and meeting locals at the Lawrence Tavern to source a number of stories to be published over the coming days.

 

Roving Reporter Adam Hourigan
Roving Reporter Adam Hourigan

 

Next stop is Maclean, where chief photographer and journalist Adam Hourigan will be reaching out to the community to hear your stories this Tuesday. Email Adam here if you have a story that may be of interest.

 

 

There wasn't a lot of fanfare, but the 2020 July Racing Carnival kicked off with Westlawn Prelude Day on Sunday. While attendance is restricted to Clarence River Jockey Club members, racehorse owners and people in the industry, the racing was as competitive as ever on the opening day of the carnival.

 

 

RACING TO WIN: Northern Rivers trained Nemingah won the $24,500 Westlawn Finance Grafton Cup Prelude Quality over 2230m, despite a protest at the Clarence River Jockey Club on june 28.
RACING TO WIN: Northern Rivers trained Nemingah won the $24,500 Westlawn Finance Grafton Cup Prelude Quality over 2230m, despite a protest at the Clarence River Jockey Club on june 28.

 

Jockey Ben Looker fought off a strong field and survived a protest aboard Nemingah to win the $24,500 Westlawn Finance Grafton Cup Prelude Quality (2230m) to earn a start in next Thursday's $200,000 Grafton Cup (2350m), sponsored by Iron Jack.

The $24,500 John Carlton Cup Quality (1215m) was won by Exclusive, to gain an automatic start in next Wednesday $200,000 GDSC Ramornie Handicap (1200m).

Here's a summary including finish photos of all seven races from the day.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the NSW Government has scrapped the half-day holidays for the Ramornie Handicap (July 8) and Grafton Cup (July 9). However, we will be there providing up-to-the-minute live coverage of the event. Stay tuned to The Daily Examiner website for regular updates throughout both days.

Meanwhile here's a taste of July Carnival highlights from the past decade as seen through the lens of Daily Examiner photographers.

The first prisoners arrived at the new Clarence Correctional Centre at Lavadia yesterday.

Take a virtual tour inside Australia's largest jail with 99 photos from the official opening on June 25.

 

The opening of the new Clarence Correctional Facility in Lavadia
The opening of the new Clarence Correctional Facility in Lavadia

And some more good news, with the NSW Government answering the call to not abandon the Big River Way (old Pacific Highway) after opening the new motorway. Last Friday the Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole joined Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis to announce a $20 million investment over three years to upgrade the key route to Grafton.

 

Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis and Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole with members of Ulmarra Village Inc at the announcement of a $20 million upgrade of the Big River Way.
Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis and Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole with members of Ulmarra Village Inc at the announcement of a $20 million upgrade of the Big River Way.

 

The community are asked to provide feedback via email, or post to 'Big River Way Glenugie to Tyndale - proposed safety improvements', PO Box 576, Grafton NSW 2460. Comments will close by Friday, July 10. More information is available here.

 

Finally, if you're having any issues at all with your subscription please phone our fantastic support team on 1300 361 604. Due to the huge volume of new digital subscribers they have been inundated with calls, so I urge you to please be patient. I have been informed that the overload of calls is settling down, and wait times are returning to normal.

Thanks again for your support, and recognising the importance of regional journalism.

 

We're for you.

 

Bill North

Editor

The Daily Examiner