There have been various iterations of the Byron Shire News over the years.
There have been various iterations of the Byron Shire News over the years.

It’s a new era, but local journalism is here to stay

MUCH has changed in Byron Bay and across the shire since the first edition of this newspaper was published on July 21, 1971.

A little more than a decade after this, the town’s meatworks closed and with it went some 360 jobs.

Tourism activities in the shire grew and as that happened, different types of employment. The prospect of local youth gaining sufficient employment here shifted.

The identity of a treasured but quiet seaside town has changed, a lot.

Byron Shire News (under different mastheads and slightly different names) has always been there for you.

This publication has seen the rise of Bluesfest, Splendour in the Grass and Byron Bay Writers Festival.

Splendour left the North Coast for the Queensland grounds of Woodford, then it returned to a new home at North Byron Parklands.

Bluesfest also moved as it grew. Falls Festival added a Byron leg to its New Year’s Eve Festival.

The Byron Writers Festival launched and, like so many other things, it grew.

The people who call Byron home have had their tragedies and victories chronicled within these pages.

Byron Shire News has been here for you throughout fights for justice where it is has been lacking. When you had to push back against stereotypes of a violent party town that were thrust upon you by other media sources, Byron Shire News was here to give the people of this region a voice.

The end of this publication’s presence as a print product has, understandably, drawn strong reactions from those who will miss its presence on your doorsteps.

Having grown up with one of the Byron Shire News’ sister papers which is facing the same changes, I’ve certainly been overcome by the memories of being read to from newsprint and of course my fair share of embarrassing childhood appearances within its pages. But this has also urged me to reflect on what regional media can mean to its community.

As this shire itself has evolved, much has also changed in the way news is delivered and consumed in the almost 49 years since this publication began.

While we adapt with the times, what lies at the heart of what we do as journalists has not changed.

Byron Shire News is still here for the diverse communities across this region. We will still be with you throughout the moments, small and momentous, that make up the fabric of this place.

If you value what we offer and want to keep reading stories that matter to you, visit to subscribe.

Our online subscribers can currently get 50 per cent off for the first 12 weeks.