Developer helps give new community its own paper

Tory Abe, Sekisui House's CEO and managing director development and communities and Neil Monaghan, CEO of Australian Regional Media with Ripley Today.

Tory Abe, Sekisui House’s CEO and managing director development and communities and Neil Monaghan, CEO of Australian Regional Media with Ripley Today.

A new community is being born in the Ripley Valley, 9km south of Ipswich, Queensland, as land is sub-divided and thousands of new homes are built. However for property developer Sekisui House, whose Ecco Ripley development will add 2000 new dwellings to the area over the next 20 years, the community is incomplete without its own newspaper.

Sekisui House has partnered with APN News & Media to launch Ripley Todaya new, monthly newspaper to service the Ripley Valley and its surrounds.

The free, home-delivered newspaper was launched yesterday and will have an initial print run between 50,000 and 60,000.

APN will leverage its existing resources, staff and facilities to produce the paper although, as part of the two-year sponsorship deal, Sekisui House is funding a new journalist position to produce specialised Ripley Valley content.

Sekisui House development manager Frank Galvin said the motivation behind launching the paper was to connect the Ripley Valley community.

The Ripley Today is a great initiative that will not only service the Ecco Ripley community, but will help build a sense of identity within the Ripley Valley itself,” he said.

“Newspapers are one of the most trusted news mediums in communities and creating this publication means residents will be the first to hear about all the exciting developments and events at Ecco Ripley, Ripley Town Centre and the Ripley Valley as a whole.”

The launch of a new newspaper may seem like a surprising move for APN, given the publisher recently announced it would sell its Australian Regional Media newspapers.

However as ARM editorial director Bryce Johns explains, it is “business as usual” despite the sales process.

Any new owner is going to want to see innovation and a business that is growing and trying to make more revenue,” Mr Johns said.

“We’ve got to continually look to try new things, find new partners and do what we do at the core, which is produce great content and make sure we’re delivering it to people who want it.”

Bryce Johns on digital subscriptions and why improving processes in print facilitates a greater focus on digital audiences and growth.

Mr Johns said launching a newspaper in the region had long been on the cards for ARM given the large amount of residential development occurring.

“The foresight of this developer, who we now have a great relationship with, has meant that the people there have got a community newspaper there much faster than they would have,” Mr Johns said.

“They’ve effectively funded us to do this earlier that we probably would have.”

Ripley Today will initially be circulated both individually and as an insert in the Queensland TimesAPN plans to eventually publish it independently once more homes are completed.  

For more news from The Newspaper Works, click here.

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