Print still rules in the west

Print media remains in a position of strength in western Sydney with one independent publisher thriving in areas that other news organisations have abandoned.

The Western Weekender, which services the Penrith region, is celebrating its 30th birthday in 2021, while its sister paper Parra News, which services Parramatta, is closing in on its first birthday.

Both publications are produced by the Kathryn Garton-owned Western Sydney Publishing Group.

“We’re proud that we not only maintain these print editions, but are witnessing them continue to grow,” said Managing Editor, Troy Dodds.

“While we also provide a strong digital service across both our news brands, we’re proud that our newsroom remains print-first. Our advertising partners continue to enjoy and see the benefits of advertising with the only weekly newspapers in both Penrith and Parramatta.”

Western Sydney Publishing Group houses one of western Sydney’s only stand-alone newsrooms, with journalists working from its western Sydney office.

“We continue to invest in real, on-the-ground community journalism – and this is the major strength of the publications,” Dodds said.

“We witnessed our competitors centralise content, sales teams and production services, and we did exactly the opposite – investing in people who live and breath the areas they write about and represent. It is now paying dividends.

“The Western Weekender and Parra News now stand alone in the weekly newspaper space, with both News Corp and Fairfax closing their print publications in the regions in recent years. It proves our strategy was the right one.”

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