WE'RE FOR YOU: The DEX, your trusted voice for 160 years
ONE hundred and sixty years ago The Daily Examiner began its conversation with the Clarence Valley community.
The year was 1859; only 21 years after the first arrivals for the red gold rush (cedar timber) had sailed up the mighty Clarence, and eight years after the first sale of town blocks in Grafton.
Started in Grafton the same year the first official race meeting was held, The Daily Examiner has always been along for the ride, documenting the highs and lows of the lives that have shaped the Clarence Valley into what it is today.
From the outset it fought for progress, declaring in an editorial on the agricultural outlook in its sixth issue on July 26, 1859, that "Sydney and its environs swarm with 80,000 people, non-producers, who must be fed".
Our brand is etched in the psyche of the community. A truly local identity. Through flood and fire, war and recession, The Daily Examiner has found its way onto the breakfast tables of generations of families who have come to us as the trusted source for unique and exclusive news relevant to our community.
Fast forward to 2019 and our publication is Australia's oldest continuous regional masthead.
Just like you, we've survived massive technological change and witnessed an information revolution, and adapted with it.
How you access your newspaper has changed in ways unimaginable only a few years ago. We now have capabilities to engage directly with our online subscribers through email newsletters, major alerts and personalised functionality. We are truly 24/7.
But the fundamental obligation between the newspaper and the people it lives for - its readers - has not changed.
Unlike the digital giants that revolutionised access to information but have no physical presence or employ reporters in real communities, The Daily Examiner is written by real people living in the same streets as its readers.
We love it as much as you do. We send our kids to the same schools, play for the same sporting clubs, get stuck in the same bridge traffic, celebrate the same triumphs.
We too stick our local footy team colours to the mast. Well actually, I don't really care whether you support Grafton Ghosts, South Grafton Rebels or Lower Clarence Magpies - so long as you support at least one.
But I do care what Matthew Elkerton writes about rugby league, because I know Moose knows more about what's going on in Clarence Valley's sporting codes than anyone else.
The same way I trust Jarrard Potter on the court round and Tim Howard in the world of politics in their relentless pursuit of the truth.
We're not just note takers. Through the unparalleled skills and local knowledge of Walkley Award-winning photographer Adam Hourigan and feature writer Lesley Apps, who have both been on the books for more than 25 years, we capture the vibe, the atmosphere, the smiles, the tears, the laughs, the cheers.
We believe the Clarence Valley is the greatest place to live on earth. And we believe it's worth fighting for.
Our journalists drive community campaigns with a tenacity that delivers results, such as Jenna Thompson's Let's Not Wait campaign, which in 2018 saw authorities place a speed camera, 50km/h zone extensions and guard rails to fix a treacherous Pacific Highway blackspot at Ulmarra.
Campaigns have long been at the core of what we do. In 2006 The Daily Examiner kickstarted Not A Drop: Keep the Clarence Mighty to stop water being taken from the Clarence River to irrigate farms west of the Great Dividing Range.
In 2012, we were in the trenches for the most significant community call to arms in Grafton's history: a town, already on its knees in the wake of abattoir and call centre closures, facing 107 more jobs axed with the downsizing of the Grafton jail.
The jail protests captured the heart and soul of the Clarence Valley community. We were there, the voice of the community.
This led to the launch of the Our Time Now campaign to hold the NSW Government accountable for the jobs it promised to return to our Valley.
In August 2017, the first sod of the a new 1700-bed prison was turned, and when it opens next year will be the largest prison in Australia, creating 600 permanent jobs.
On the back of the "sugar hit" provided by the Grafton Bridge and Pacific Highway upgrade, our promise to pressure the NSW Government to 'mobilise the Valley to rejuvenate its economy' is paying off with unprecedented infrastructure spending and jobs growth in the region.
We're committed to helping build resilience for beyond the completion of these projects, attracting visitors to the region and giving people a reason to decide to call the Clarence Valley home.
We bring people together. We're for cherishing the moments that create the memories that last a lifetime.
We're trusted to do it best, because we've been doing it longer than anyone else in regional Australia.
Our community relationship is built on trust. It's built over time and not easily won.
As editor, my team and I are entrusted to continue this conversation between The Daily Examiner and its loyal readers that has now endured 160 years.
In the coming months politicians will do a lot of talking as we march towards both state and federal elections. Elements of social media will look to distort the facts to suit their truth.
You can trust us to seek nothing but the truth.
You can trust us to ask the questions you want answered, break the stories people don't want told and hold authority to account.
Whether it's capturing the initial reaction of a newly crowned Jacaranda Queen, or the heated debate of an election hopeful, you can trust our news will never be fake. It will never be insincere. And it will never be contrary to what we know to be the facts.
Our news will always be from the heart and delivered with consideration and conscience.
The Daily Examiner lives for the Clarence Valley and its people. It always has and it always will.
And that is our commitment.... We're for You.