Sharing the experience with The News along the journey
The News is marking 145 years of existence this month.
Earlier this week, we put the call out to you to send in any feedback you had from your experiences with your local newspaper.
We want to hear about a story we produced that really resonated with you, or one that drove you to action.
We want to hear about your family featuring heavily in the pages of The News across generations, or whether you have worked with us in the past and have a funny story to share.
And of course, we are all human and we all make mistakes, so we also want to hear about the times when you picked up the paper and thought, “what’s going on here?”
It’s all part of the rich tapestry of history, and we want to share and celebrate it with you this month.
David Baker’s mind immediately turned to his involvement with The News when the Olympics came to Sydney in 2000.
He wanted to share his experience — literally — after participating in The News’ ‘Share The Experience’ initiative.
The brainchild of then-sports editor Phil Guthrie, the Share The Experience program enlisted the help of the Greater Shepparton community to help cover the Games — and not just from the angle of its sporting stars.
Volunteers, competitors and fans alike who were heading to Sydney were encouraged to phone in their stories to The News in order to create a running commentary around the events.
“The News put the call out that anyone who was heading to the Games would be welcome to submit stories to be printed,” Mr Baker said.
“It made you feel like part of the paper, without having to be an actual reporter.
“A few of my stories got put in the paper, they had a number you could ring up and leave a message with what you had seen or heard that day.
“We got a Shepp News t-shirt and a few other branded things, and we had a big meeting at the office about a week before the Games so we could get our heads around how to send in stories and what we might be able to do.”
As you will see further along in today’s News, these Share The Experience reflections are quite relevant even now.
With the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games looming larger on the horizon by the day — and the launch of our call-out campaign for local contributors to join the News team — it is quite an apt topic for our musings on the history of the publication this month.
“I think you should do a similar thing for the Victorian Games,” Mr Baker said.
“I quite enjoyed the experience, and I hope it can happen again.”
Another reader, Lorna Gillespie, reached out via email this week.
Read her feedback below, and after you do I look forward to hearing from you — send me an email at email@example.com or give me a call on 5820 3228.
“(I) felt your request for comments was a timely opportunity to say many thanks to Shepparton News for publishing numerous good news stories about the local refugee community, especially when accompanied by colour photographs,” she said.
“Whilst these articles have been numerous my favourite example remains Liam (Nash’s) charming sports piece on the Kuol family, not just their star soccer players.
“Antonita, mother of the soccer players, came along to a gathering of South Sudanese women with the article, with all the unfamiliar words underlined.
“Together with a friend we carefully explained each word in a way that would make sense.
“Antonita’s smile broadened with each explanation, by the time the article was finished pride and awareness had exploded!
“Did write to thank Liam, but how I wish we had videoed the experience.
“Hopefully you will find time to create more articles on locally employed refugee community members; whilst Gouge have been at the forefront, many other businesses are now taking a role in employing a diverse workforce.
“Australia has yet to decrease its insistence, or is that arrogance, on Australian qualifications; it makes me sad to see nurses and teachers unable to easily re-enter their profession, but that`s a huge barrier to shift.
“Congratulations to the team who create the paper.
“Stay safe and warm, Lorna.”