Kyle’s Rant

October 4th, 2020Kyle’s Rant

I HAVE never been one for settling down. The fact I went to 13 schools in my childhood as my father chased the fish might have something to do with that, but I find myself having lived in the Central Highlands for 15 years now.

There have been a couple of moves but we always seem to get drawn back. It’s sort of like the song Hotel California, you know you can checkout anytime you like, but you can never leave.
So after 200 editions I have been asked by the editor to talk about my time on The Local, to reflect on giving birth to those many newborns. Close friends, you can tune out now, you have heard the story, but for the rest of you buckle up as we take an amble down memory lane.
It all started innocently enough I suppose. Eight years ago I was working as a photographer at The Advocate where one of my highlights was when the editor approached me to take a photo of the newly-completed roundabout between Dean and Ballarat. I mean, that is why you have a photographer on staff, to run around and take photos of road furniture. So that was one of the moments that tipped me into the forward motion that has become The Local.
The other was my many hours doing nothing at the desk waiting for something to happen and asking head office if I was allowed to at least pen a couple of briefs (small stories), but NO was the answer. “That would be tantamount to demarcation.”
The final straw was a great photo I took running in The Advocate the size of a postage stamp up the back of the paper where they say in the trade “the elephants go to die”. This particular photo went on to win a people’s choice award in an art gallery competition.

So you can see, I was not a happy chappy back in the winter of 2013. Donna and I kicked The Local off on September 2, 2013 but it is now a lot bigger than us. We have picked up a lot of talented folks along the way who have stuck by us through thick and pandemic.
Our paper has been an amazing launching pad into other media areas including our area’s own real estate platform House.Land.Home. which is not only in print but will also be hosting local properties for sale within a couple of weeks on our website. Another product that was born from The Local was our tourist offering The Little Local. So what’s next?
Well, that’s a podcast for everyone who is too busy to read the paper. Walking around wired for sound or driving a car you will be able to listen to our feature story interviews and all this by the end of October. Personally, I have grown and away from the paper I have been able to write and photograph published pieces including my latest 11-page offering in TradeABoat (pornography for boaties). Which really makes me reflect on that solid NO I was given to the question eight years ago when I asked if I could do a couple of briefs.
I guess, on reflection, The Local has been the best chapter of my life, to create something like this from nothing, having no plan, no corporate identity or branding strategy. And to gather up the people who help to make it on the way, meet the beautiful folks who support our products by way of advertising or sharing their yarns and have the privilege of living in the Central Highlands.
God I am tired – 200th reflective rant over…

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