UNHAPPILY, this is the last issue of The Voice of the South.
Being a free paper we rely utterly on advertising to pay our way – which in a region suffering a flatline economy is a mighty small pie, which we competed for with several other well-established, better-fed newspapers.
Retail businesses, which form the core of our advertisers, are feeling the pinch more than most, and there is no end in sight.
We know how they feel.
The decision to pull the pin was made for us, by the news late last week that our application for a grant under the federal government’s Remote and Small Publishers Innovation fund had been rejected.
The grant would have exorcised the financial spectre hanging over us and allowed us to keep going.
Still, 15 issues are 15 more than none at all, and if we achieved nothing else we were a fresh voice in what is, frankly, a generally tired and lacklustre media landscape.
That last week’s council elections turned out the way they did was due in small part to The Voice’s unremitting support for community leadership with a human face, untainted by engorged egos, settling old scores and backdoor politicking.
No doubt there will be some smug commentary on social media and selfsatisfied smiles around a few dinner tables as a result of our demise – but who cares?
The rambling of armchair critics and internet whisperers have no credibility beyond their own limited imaginations.
Apologies to our shareholders, advertisers and contributors (who did double-duty for pennies to get us onto the street every fortnight).
Thank you for coming with us this far.
And special thanks to you, our readers, for liking us and sharing our vision.
Was it naïve to start The Voice when we did? Maybe. Rash? Possibly. Was it worth it? Absolutely.