Seven West Media South West editor Jakeb Waddell and Perthnow editor Natalie Richards host town hall meeting

Headshot of Breanna Redhead
Breanna RedheadSouth Western Times
Perthnow editor Natalie Richards and South West editor Jakeb Waddell.
Camera IconPerthnow editor Natalie Richards and South West editor Jakeb Waddell. Credit: Breanna Redhead/South Western Times

Bunbury residents had the chance to hear directly from South West editor Jakeb Waddell as he gave an update on the future of this newspaper and discussed issues impacting the region at a town hall meeting last week.

Waddell, who was joined by Perthnow editor Natalie Richards, spoke of the importance of media in regional communities, pressing issues in the South West and introduced his wider team to more than 70 who gathered at the Bunbury Geographe Chamber of Commerce and Industry building.

The pair then took questions from readers, who raised queries including the balance between print and digital and the use of a paywall for online articles, while highlighting the issues important to them, such as climate change, disability services and local politics.

As part of the event, he also informed readers the cost of the South Western Times would be slightly increased to $1.90 on the back of a 106 per cent paper cost rise because of supply chain issues in Europe.

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Speaking to the crowd, Waddell said it was a small price to pay for the newspaper’s commitment to the region, but understood it came at a time readers were facing rising cost of living concerns in their own lives.

“Anyone that stays in touch with media would’ve seen multiple regional papers shutting down across the country, but we are very proud to be a part of a company that didn’t shut down a single regional paper,” he said.

“For us, the biggest impact has been the increase of the price of paper by 106 per cent ... we’re not immune to the things that have happened and this is something we have to face.

“We’ve been loyal to you over the past couple of years despite the challenges that we’ve faced and now we’re asking for you guys to keep your loyalty with us.”

Waddell said he was pleased with the response from the public and looked forward to the South Western Times continuing to be a must-read product for the region.

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