Murray Bridge News Network launches: Is this the future of local news?
Deputy Mayor Andrew Baltensperger has helped managing editor Peri Strathearn officially launch a new channel for sharing local stories in the Murraylands.
The future of local news in the Murraylands has arrived with the launch of the Murray Bridge News Network.
Locals will now have a new way of finding out about what’s happening in our region: via a network of TV screens in cafes, waiting rooms and at other locations around the region.
Murray Bridge News, owners of this website, will use the network to share the latest local stories, photos and advertisements each day.
Unlike this website, our email edition or our social media channels, however, the MBN Network will make our stories accessible to everyone in the community, whether they are online or not.
As managing editor of Murray Bridge News, the network is something I had planned since long before I founded the company in 2020, as I noted at a launch event on Wednesday.
“Working at a local newspaper, I could see the importance of local news, but I could also see the trajectory things were headed in,” I said.
“We needed to find a new way to solve the problem: how do people know what’s happening around town?
“If you’re an online news service, like we are, how can you have a real-world presence?”
Our answer: by running a network of 14 screens at 12 locations around Murray Bridge and Tailem Bend, able to be updated with the latest stories each day.
While a handful of other organisations have tried similar schemes in the past, recent technological advances have made a project like this more viable than ever before.
And as I said at the launch event at Steamers Cafe, I hope people will use the MBN Network for more than just finding out what’s happening.
“I hope that this network can be something people use … to feel connected, to feel like part of a community,” I said.
“Without shared stories, we’re not really a community at all – we’re just a bunch of people who live near each other.”
Murray Bridge Deputy Mayor Andrew Baltensperger, who cut a ribbon at the launch event and pressed a button to set the thing going, said local news played a crucial role in the community.
“It gives us a sense of connection to our community,” he said.
“The Murray Bridge News Network will enable access to local news to even more of our community (members) through the installation of these TV screens.
“I commend the Murray Bridge News team for their innovation, and commitment to sharing local news throughout the community.”
Thank you Google, subscribers and advertisers
The Murray Bridge News Network was made possible with funding from the Google News Initiative, and with support from local subscribers and advertising clients.
Screens will initially be located at:
AC Care (coming soon)
Daish Irrigation and Fodder
iReach Rural Health
Murray Bridge Marketplace
Murray Bridge Newsagency and Gifts (coming soon)
Murray Bridge Community Centre
Murray Bridge Library
Tailem Bend Bakery
Murray Bridge News is open to the idea of expanding the network at several extra locations, in both Murray Bridge and communities around the district.
Local advertisers will be able to use the network to reach local audiences, too; on-site surveys in the coming weeks will give Murray Bridge News a better idea of the audience the network can reach.
More information about advertising on the Murray Bridge News Network:
Contact Murray Bridge News: Call Jane Intini on 0418 835 768 or email email@example.com.
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