Mayor: Gazette ‘on its last legs’

The last issue of the Gazette for 2018 could
be the last under its current ownership.

MAYOR Ben Shaw has taken aim at the Derwent Valley Gazette following social media speculation that the 65-year-old local newspaper will soon be under new ownership.

“Not sure who the new owners will be but I’d say the ol’ Gazette will be on its last legs!!” Cr Shaw said yesterday in response to a Facebook post saying the paper will soon be in Tasmanian ownership with a new editor and staff.

“Interesting, might be time to start a community paper that actually cares about the community and not individuals opinions!! Or trying to council bash at every turn for the fun of it,” the mayor said in a comment.

“They use and abuse good people because they are passionate but not willing to put any hard work in themselves. Then when they can’t be bothered they dump sports and contributors. Not sure who the new owners will be but I’d say the ol’ Gazette will be on its last legs!!”

Columnist Adam Rice responded that he wrote for the Gazette for the love of fishing. “The past editor always did the right thing by me,” he said. “Don’t hold grudges and get behind it, the paper has a lot of history in the valley and it would be a shame if it was gone.”

First published in 1953, the Derwent Valley Gazette was locally owned until 1981 when it was sold to Davies Brothers, proprietors of the Mercury and other publications. In 1986 it was absorbed into News Limited (now News Corp Australia) along with the Mercury.

Speaking at the December council meeting, councillor and former mayor Martyn Evans repeated his request for the council to seek full costings for the production of a community newspaper. Derwent Valley Online Access Centre co-ordinator Terri Sweet posted on Facebook that the centre might be interested in assisting with a publication similar to The Highland Digest. 

A former Gazette paper boy, the mayor has used social media to express his frustration with the local paper and its reporters on several occasions.

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