The Hamilton Press and the vision of its editor Steve Edwards is simple, the paper must be community orientated.
Most weekly newspapers like the Hamilton Press have the same motto.
It is news about the people, and views about the stories that matter to a community, regardless of how big or small.
Much has been made about the future of newspapers in the modern era, where news is being delivered to the consumer in so many new, instantly available, and interactive ways. News is breaking all the time.
The key word is instant.
For many community papers, there just isn’t room for those hard hitting breaking news stories that you read online or see on Twitter.
Because of its weekly turnaround, the Hamilton Press focuses on the stories that serve the city of Hamilton.
Thanks to the Waikato Regional Newspaper network, rural news from surrounding areas to Hamilton are covered in other newspapers, but the Hamilton Press works with each of its partner papers to put together the best stories that focus on people.
Daily editions that FairFax Media and the APN produce in the form of the Waikato Times and the NZ Herald are much different.
Weekly papers like the Hamilton Press are not going to get those big exclusive stories.
This is because of time sensitivity.
The Hamilton Press doesn’t exactly compete against other media either, it just tells a few of the community stories that are around Hamilton city each week.
Due to the size of the population, and the various amounts of stories that come from the community, Hamilton Press doesn’t exactly step on the toes of its rival paper the Hamilton News (produced by the APN) either.
The Hamilton Press operates using just one designated journalist.
According to the editor of the Hamilton Press Steve Edwards, their one journalist does the bulk of the writing that the newspaper produces each week.
Community newspapers like the Hamilton Press are also proving to be valuable to students, and Edwards believes that community papers like his own provide the best grounding because journalists cover everything and don’t just remain fixed on one area of news.
If utilised, Edwards believes students can get a lot out of the on-the-job style of learning that being a journalist for community newspapers can provide.
“Everyone can write, but to write for a paper on deadline and for what the paper wants, that’s the art. The best way of doing that is by doing that.”
Like a lot of people in the industry, Edwards believes that being pro active is the key to being a good journalist, even during the stages of training in tertiary education.
“I tell the people at Wintec all the time, write stuff for us as well as in class, the classroom is different. Go out and write a story, take a photo and send it in. If it gets rejected it gets rejected. It is not training, an exam exercise or a practice, what you do is you’re a journalist.”
Edwards believes the best students are the ones who don’t wait for an internship, but are the ones who show pro-activeness and take a chance by contacting newspapers and offering their work.
The Hamilton Press is produced weekly on a Wednesday, and delivered to mailboxes around the city for free.