Rotary: 80 years supporting Tully
Hotel Tully: The Top Pub will be hosting a special event this Sat
The Wet Tropic Times is the last locally owned newspaper servicing the region. We are one of only 50 independent publications left in the entire country.
I, Sari Hyytinen, the owner of The Wet Tropic Times, am a third-generation local, who has a fierce determination to tell the truth about matters that concern local and regional people and provide an important balance to the news portrayed by mainstream media.
The Wet Tropic Times has always stood for and tried to represent the local community. Built on the foundation of the Tully Times, I established the Cassowary Coast Independent News when the previous owner passed away, expanding the newspaper to include the greater Cassowary Coast region.
The paper was off to a promising start when only 10 weeks later, my car was hit by a Semi-Trailer driver high on drugs, resulting in brain injuries so severe that I died on the scene, but was fortunately resuscitated. The newspaper was run entirely by my new employees for the nearly 3 years it took me to recover. On my return to work, I had to immediately begin to rebuild the newspaper.
Things were looking up again when COVID-19 hit. Newspapers rely on advertisers to pay the bills, and the COVID-induced lockdowns and restrictions placed an enormous strain on many advertisers, which affected their ability to support their local paper. To survive, I changed strategy, and expanded the newspaper’s coverage beyond the Cassowary Coast to include the Wet Tropic Region from Ingham to Babinda. To reflect this change, I rebranded again as the Wet Tropic Times, which is a nod to the paper’s heritage as the Tully Times, and, by keeping the cassowary logo, to its heritage as the Cassowary Coast Independent News.
Small independent newspapers all over the region have dropped like flies. Newscorp purchased them, then, one by one, shut them down. Locals lost their voice and their employment.
The Wet Tropic Times stands alone as the only local and independent voice in the region. But it also faces fierce competition from social media platforms, such as Facebook. I ask myself if I should move the Wet Tropic Times to a purely online offering? It would be less expensive, easier, and more ‘efficient’, but intrinsically more piecemeal, and provide less of a consolidated local ‘voice’.
I understand from your feedback that our region greatly appreciates having a hard copy paper, telling local stories local ways. The older residents do not necessarily want to go online, and the younger generations are tired of being glued to their mobiles and appreciate consolidated news in hardcopy. Locals wish to read news that is pertinent to them and their area.
All of us at the Wet Tropic Times want to continue to support you, but we need you to support us, in supporting you. We have circa 12,000 readers per week, who enjoy our paper and read it thoroughly (as opposed to free papers that often get tossed aside with barely a glance).
Please help us to continue to be the voice of our local community by advertising with us.
If you have a business, need to place a legal notice, or promote an event, or announce an engagement or wedding or funeral, please advertise with us!
To do so, please email: email@example.com
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