I was going through and cleaning up some of my collection of all sorts today. During the sorting, I stumbled on a copy of the last ‘Arafura Times’ newspaper. This paper under various names had been published to cover Nhulunbuy and its surrounding East Arnhemland area for many years. It goes back into the 1970’s and faithfully reported on the happenings within the town and surrounds for well over 40 years.

And then it folded. The last edition was for the period of 12-18 October 2016. The paper was discontinued, being deemed no longer economically viable. What a sad loss. People said that Facebook and an online adaptation the ‘Gove Noticeboard’ would suffice. That has been a substitute forum but nothing beats a local newspaper. The printed world is an enabling device when it comes to recording, preservation, and the mounting of history. Cyberspace alternatives are far more fleeting and offered without editing and consideration before things are put online.

Local papers everywhere are under the pump. So too is regional television and regional news bulletins. As a child, teenager and young man, I valued local offerings. So too, did everyone I knew.

Too much that was good and filled a useful purpose has been ditched. That is not a good thing.

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