October 10th, 2020Nick and Lindsay, keeping the typos at bay
At some point in 2013, they mentioned to us their plan to start up a monthly independent news magazine – stories by and about local people, for residents and visitors to the Central Highlands. Sounds promising, we thought. Hope it goes well for them…
Then one day, Kyle appeared in front of us at the information centre counter and said, “Guys, would you mind taking a quick squiz through the proofs of our first issue and seeing if you spot any errors? Donna wants to feel sure Issue 1 is really schmick before we go to press”. Sure, we said. After all, an extra pair (or two) of eyes will always spot something that needs tweaking.
So here we are, some seven years and an incredible 200 issues later, still “taking a quick squiz” and ferreting out typoes. Sorry, that should be typo’s. Bugger it, I mean typos! We never rashly claim to achieve 100 per cent perfection, but always aim to ensure each issue is as “clean” as we can possibly get it.
Due to the enthusiastic response to Issue 1, the monthly publication was immediately upped to fortnightly (and more recently, weekly, to help keep people in touch during the pandemic). The A4 format was also quickly changed to tabloid size – there were just so many stories to cover.
It never ceases to amaze us that virtually everyone in the Central Highlands has an interesting story to tell, about their past or current life and experiences. Donna and her intrepid band of journos do an amazing job of scratching below the surface to uncover and relate these fascinating yarns. And we also really love reading the stories about historical happenings in our area, from the distant and not so distant past – some well-known, others which had virtually been forgotten over time.
In the early days, we would read through the proofs and then all meet up to review our suggested changes, which Donna would take back to the office and implement. But after a while we found it was more time-effective and accurate to do it all over the phone, us at home with the proofs in front of us, and Donna in TL HQ, making the changes then and there. This arrangement has stood us in good stead for 2020’s lockdown – with so many people now working from home.
We have developed an unofficial Local style manual over the years, too. British English spelling, not American English. Verandah, not veranda. Barbeque, not barbecue. Enquiry if it’s casual, inquiry if it’s official. That sort of stuff. We always joke with Donna that eventually, one of us will actually write all these “rules” down, instead of keeping them all in our heads…one day.
In early 2017, we decided to move to Ballarat. One of the first things Donna said when we told her was, “do you think you will you still be able to proof The Local?” Yes, we assured her. We enjoy it, and want to keep our fingers on the pulse of what’s happening in the Central Highlands. After all, we’re not leaving the area. We’ll just be down the road a little. And there’s a printer only a couple of blocks from our new home who’ll be able to run off the proofs for us.
So we’ve continued, without a hiccup. Every so often, we’re even allowed a holiday!
Well done Kyle and Donna, on the last seven years and an incredible 200 issues. We’re so proud to be part of Team Local. Here’s to the next 200!
Words: Nick Bunning & Lindsay Smith | Image: Contributed