It’s our 12th Birthday and I have mixed feelings
It was on this day 12 years ago that our first issue of what is now known as Orange City Life was published. Back then we started as Orange Photo News but changed the name a few years ago to Orange City Life to better reflect what we do.
It’s been quite a ride and to be honest I have mixed feelings about the experience. In reality however, what you our readers think is more relevant than what I think, and judging by the way thousands of you have regularly picked up your weekly copy over the last 12 years, it appears you still get enjoyment from what we produce.
Like any business we’ve had our ups and downs. Among the downs, we’ve faced everything from a Global Financial Crisis, to heavy competition from a very ruthless competitor, to governments at all levels and big companies who still can’t be convinced that we are a better option for their advertising than the alternatives, and more recently, to a rapidly changing media scene. We’ve also seen a lot of people pass through our staffing ranks for one reason or another.
Among the ups, and this is where I’d prefer to focus, I believe what you have in your hand is the best publication of its type in Australia. I’ve said this before, but I honestly believe it to be a true statement. I have seen a lot of community publications, newspapers and the like from places all over Australia and I feel we are very unique, special even, and for a number of reasons. Anyone who has taken notice would fully realise how far ahead of comparable publications Orange City Life is, and this is particularly significant given we are NOT a newspaper.
Along the way we’ve also seen a lot of people pass through our staffing ranks for one reason or another.
Forgive me if what I’m now about to say sounds a bit arrogant but I believe our local community should consider themselves extremely privileged to a publication like OC Life, one that they can simply pick up and enjoy each week without any cost them. Further, although our team can take a lot of the credit for this, be assured that what we do is only part of it, what makes Orange City Life possible in the first place is the advertisers who you see advertise with us each week. The community owes these people a huge debt of gratitude and for this reason alone, our advertisers deserve to be supported. I realise that’s a bit fanciful to expect but it’s true none the less.
Traditional newspapers have progressively deteriorated in size, quality, content and advertisers, and to date, most appear to have no answers for turning this trend around. On one hand that helps independents like us but on the other hand, it disappoints me to see what they are turning out and still charging people for. In many cases, communities deserve better from their local newspaper.
The future of newspapers and publications like ours in places like Orange is open to opinion but speaking for myself, I believe printed newspapers will disappear and community magazine type publications like Orange City Life will start to emerge more, for a time at least. My guess is that cities all over Australia would love to have a publication like Orange City Life to enjoy each week for free.
Here’s to the next 12 years!