Whilst others worry about comparisons to Pinocchio and Norman Gunston (it’s a privilege and honour to be compared to the legendary actor and comedian Garry McDonald) between ad breaks advertising sales representatives masquerading as journalists continue to lose viewers.
The state election has -unsurprisingly – demonstrated that Victorians have had enough of climate change denialists, religious nutters; and right-wing ‘nut jobs’, such as Local Paper advertising guru Ash Long.
Why do I state this? Long (once) wanted articles and material for free to help sell his advertising in his right-wing nutter rag The Local Paper.
Problem is he doesn’t believe – and told me personally – that real journalists should be paid for their work. I was advised to ‘walk away’ by university and some of Australia’s leading journalists.
I was soon compared by some to Garry McDomald’s character, Norman Gunston. A privilege to be compared to such.
See weekend’s Victorian election results for what most Victorians think of not being paid for doing your job.
Whilst others continue delivering fake news (and helping – and participating in – US President Trump’s ‘fake news’ mantra (most local rubbish is written by
Long) weekly in print, where space permits between advertising and other rants, Kinglake Ranges News and Alexandra Newspapers (The Yea Chronicle and Alexandra Standard) get on with just delivering news that matters to locals.
Kinglake Ranges News (28 days to Sunday, 24 November) has 56 per cent of local readers, with Alexandra Newspapers (part of the Newspaper House group) holding 24 per cent. The Local Paper holds just 18 per cent of online readers.
Only the editor of Kinglake Ranges News, Ashley Geelan is a member of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
“Being a union [MEAA] member is ‘just a pass purchased over the internet’,” Long told Geelan in 2016.
The editor of Kinglake Ranges News, Ashley Geelan, is also the only local reporter (with thanks to La Trobe University) that is an approved reporter for County Court, Supreme Court, Magistrates’ Court, Federal Court, Department of Defence, State Parliament (VIC), Country Fire Authority, Metropolitan Fire Brigade, State Emergency Service, Department of Health (VIC), Victoria Police, Australian Federal Police and Ambulance Victoria among others.
According to some, organisations and government departments just issue fake ‘press passes’ to reporters that are “worthless passes bought off the internet,” that mean nothing. Experience demonstrates otherwise.
Turning up at a few places and taking happy snaps does not a journalist make.
The Department of Defence told Kinglake Ranges News that “we don’t just dish out press passes to anyone, mate”
“You’ve been reporting on and part of (Defence Force) School of Signals [as VK3HAG] since you were 13  Asho,” a Defence Department spokesperson said from Simpson Barracks, Watsonia today.
Others have tried through various statements in the past – and keep trying – to ‘throw Geelan off the scent.’ Academics have confirmed to Ashley Geelan that he was on the right path all along.
When it really counts Kinglake Ranges News and editor Ashley Geelan have delivered:
- Live weather updates on Fire Danger Days;
- Kinglake’s first 24/7 weather station to BoM and World Meteorological Organization (WMO) – United Nations – standards;
- Live weather updates during Severe Weather Warnings;
- Was first to notify others of impeding danger on Black Saturday (two hours before first ABC Radio emergency broadcast on 774kHz/ABC Radio Melbourne/3LO);
- Switched Flowerdale’s 97.7FM ABC Goulburn-Murray relay transmitter to relay 94.5FM ABC Kinglake Ranges after Black Saturday;
- Re-transmission of local CFA radio during incidents, including 2006 Captains Creek Road fire and all Black Saturday CFA and Police communications;
- Kept our local Kinglake Police on the air when the repeater failed (burned) during Black Saturday so local police could stay on ‘the air’ and talk to dispatch in Wangaratta (164.000MHz FM)
- Oaks Day coverage;
- Football and moreAnd we’ve delivered it all without income for the benefit of the Kinglake Ranges, Murrindindi Shire and wider community. We put news and informing the community before advertising revenue. Always have. Always will.We’ve earned $45.68 from our online ads as at 3pm today since Kinglake Ranges News began in June 2017. That’s it. Unlike others, we do news first and ad revenue second.In 2019, we’ll have even more … when Kinglake Ranges News begins live coverage.
NEWS ISN’T NEWS UNLESS IT’S KINGLAKE RANGES NEWS
MURRINDINDI SHIRE’S #1 NEWS SITE
FIRST FOR LOCAL NEWS
Geelan was lied to – there is no other word for it – by a right-wing ads man masquerading as a journalist who peddles fake news with a few happy snaps added occasionally. That’s not journalism in 2018.
If you think Long’s The Phoenix post Black Saturday newspaper ‘gave away over a million dollars in advertising’ you are not reading between the lines. Long set The Phoenix up in an attempt to secure future advertising contracts and revenue and restore his brand after several failed ventures in prior years.
Community? Caring? Long? That’s like the Liberal Party saying they understand climate change.
It had nothing to do with supporting the community. That’s a load of absolute rubbish.
However, this does not mean that Kinglake Ranges News doesn’t seek advertisers too. We just put reporting before revenue and saw Guardian Australia’s model as the right one to adopt.
If Geelan wasn’t ‘on the right path’ why did Long copy Geelan’s idea, in fact the very ideas they told Geelan “not to bother with” as it “wasn’t worth it” and “would never work,” albeit without doing so to modern online journalism standards? We know why. Because it does work.
If it wasn’t worth it, as Long advised in late 2016 then why did you then copy and steal our ideas and work? The mind boggles.
Being a member of the MEAA is an important part of what we (real journalists) do. Saturday night’s state election result demonstrated so beyond doubt.
Almost all ABC, Fairfax (The Age), The Saturday Paper, and many commercial radio and television journalists are also MEAA members.
“You already have the skills needed to be a first-class reporter,” Long said on 30 September 2016. (38 days before Geelan’s admission to university).
This was later followed by Long’s attacks following the opening of Kinglake Ranges News as Long didn’t want to pay for articles or photographs.
Like most ‘right wing nut jobs’, (RWNJ) to use today’s social media parlance, Long doesn’t believe people should be paid for their work so they can line their own pockets.
We do news. Others copy later.
Editor of The Local Paper and Melbourne Observer, Ash Long (Ashley Lawrence Long) did not respond to several requests for comment.