Passionate campaigner for country newspapers Bob Yeates has been made a life member of the Victorian Country Press Association in recognition of his contribution to the association and the industry.
Chairman of the Victorian Country Press Association Rob Duffield said there was no one like Mr Yeates, the managing director of East Gippsland Newspapers.
“He’s very much a stalwart of our association. When you think of the Victorian Country Press, Bob’s not far away in your thinking; he is country press,” he said.
“He’s a different character. He’s charismatic, and he’s incredibly passionate about newspapers, particularly about the printed format.”
Mr Yeates has served on the VCPA board for 19 years. He was president of the association for two years – from November 2002 until November 2004.
During his presidency, he met with every member newspaper across country Victoria.
Mr Yeates said newspapers had a social responsibility, and did it because they loved it. “They love the interaction with the community, and you can make a difference by giving people a voice in the community,” he said.
“A lot of people don’t understand the value of a local paper in an area where it can speak for them, and where people will actually take notice.”
At East Gippsland Newspapers, readers are regularly invited to join in a “pizza by the press”, where the company tells its story to its readers. Past attendees include cubs, guides, scouts and rotary club members.
“It doesn’t yell at you; it’s not loud. And you learn more from a printed sheet than you do from a screen – you retain more.” – Bob Yeates
Mr Yeates believes there is a future for newspapers because there is nothing that compares to them. They chronicle history, and provide a good reference.
“It doesn’t yell at you; it’s not loud. And you learn more from a printed sheet than you do from a screen – you retain more,” he said.
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