Saturday, 28th March, 2020
By Michael Murphy
Barrier Daily Truth will suspend daily printing operations from Saturday.
Management, in consultation with staff, made the difficult decision yesterday to give Broken Hill’s newspaper every opportunity to resume normal operations once the coronavirus crisis subsides.
BDT staff, who will be stood down, met yesterday afternoon to discuss options.
“We are devastated,” Barrier Daily Truth’s Acting Manager Gavin Schmidt said.
“Like many others in these difficult times, we are all feeling a little overwhelmed and a good night’s sleep seems like a distant memory.
“We feel like we are abandoning our loyal readers, subscribers and advertisers - many of whom have supported us for most of their lives.
“Overnight, we have lost our revenue stream - we just couldn’t run our beloved paper into the ground without giving it a chance of surviving on the other side.”
The BDT is leaving the door open for special editions to inform the community of important information during the crisis, providing costs can be covered in some way.
Mr Schmidt has contacted state and federal politicians to ask for support and let them know of the newspaper’s predicament.
Other regional newspapers have also suspended operations during the week.
The Sunraysia Daily in Mildura announced on Tuesday it was suspending printing on Saturday and staff would be stood down. This closure also affects the other Elliott Newspaper Group mastheads, including Sunraysia Life, The Guardian in Swan Hill and Gannawarra Times.
In Victoria’s Gippsland region, two papers have also announced they will close until further notice. The Great Southern Star and Yarram Standard are now closed.
BDT advised people in the Far West to keep informed during the crisis by tuning into ABC Radio Broken Hill, and following their outstanding news service on Facebook.
“Of course, we hope to come back at some stage, but in the meantime, you can not go past the local ABC for accurate and informative information,” Mr Schmidt said.
“Take care everyone and look after each other.”
The Barrier Daily Truth, established early last century to serve the struggling working class of Broken Hill, published six-days-a-week for 111 years.
Saturday’s BDT will be the last until further notice.