Pilbara Echo turns 200!
The Pilbara Echo celebrates 200 editions this week.
With 40 pages and record advertising sales, it is a bumper edition, including the Echo Gig Guide that was launched two weeks ago, which has been a real hit with the community.
The paper has seen many changes after the first edition of February 2008, which owner Alan Richardson and his partner Mel Jonsson brought into reality by themselves.
The first Pilbara Echo had only 16 pages and included a welcome from the Echo team of Alan and Mel, with the caption, ‘community spirit is the aim of Echo newspaper.’
Articles about a dramatic performance specialist, Sue Gibson, visiting Australian Technical College students; International Women’s Day; kindy kids from Pegs Creek School and SAFE pets and it’s volunteers helped to make the first edition of just 5500 copies.
The locally owned community newspaper sees edition 200 having over 14,700 copies!
“In the early days of the Pilbara Echo, we were open for three days straight,” said Alan remembering the early days.
“Between the paper, the race books for the Roebourne races and the printing work that was coming in, we worked all day and night – Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night – to get it all done.
“That’s how we met Mathias; he saw our lights on late one night and came in asking to use the Internet.”
Mathias is now the longest serving employee, who works in the printing side of the business, Coral Coast Print.
“We often watched McDonalds close and then open again in the morning,” said Mel of the early days of the Echo.
Alan said the reason they started the Pilbara Echo, was because as a small business owner in Karratha, the price of advertising was ridiculously expensive.
“I couldn’t afford to advertise my own small business,” he said.
“Plus some competition is healthy.”
The Echo grew out of Alan’s other business – Coral Coast Print- that is also situated in the Pilbara Echo office.
“Instead of complaining about the negative side of things in the area, we prefer to see the positive side,” said Alan of the Echo. As staff numbers have grown with the business, so has the office space and the staff involved in bringing the paper to the Pilbara community.
Some new faces and talents now grace the Pilbara Echo office and are committed to bringing the towns of the Pilbara a fresh paper with positive community spirit each week.
The Pilbara Echo now has a very positive feel and endeavours to make living in the Pilbara more enjoyable.
Ou Team -
The Pilbara Echo is made up some of the most dedicated, hard-working people, making sure every week the readers are up-to-date with the latest news, entertainment and sport.
Our team is made up of:
Head Honcho, the co-owner of Pilbara Echo. Alan started in media at the young age of 17, learning the ins and outs of graphic design, photography, printing, reporting; pretty much everything there is to do with making a newspaper.
Co-owner of the Pilbara Echo, Mel is part of our sales team and makes sure the accounts are up-to-date. This quirky, giggly lady makes sure that all of our clients are happy with their service and is happy to take on any problem that is thrown at her.
Al and Mel’s personal assistant keeps all of the team under control and focused on the job at hand. Sarah joined the team late last year and already knows everything there is to know about the Echo.
Dee makes up the other half of our sales team. Having years of advertising knowledge, she keeps her clients happy and make sure the get the most out of what they are paying for.
Karratha journalist, Courtney first started in media when she was 17-years-old, fresh out of school after graduating year 12 at St Luke’s College and has since grown as a reporter, making appearances at all the events held in the community.
Elise started off writing weekly columns as our Pilbara Poet. However, last year, Elise came on board as our Hedland journalist. As an ex-english teacher, Elise is known as the grammar expert and everyone knows to spell-check their emails before writing to her.
Our news sub-editor. A primary teacher, Tracey joined the team a few months ago, to make sure the paper reads and runs smoothly. With her past experience, Tracey has become a valued member of the team.
The longest serving employee at the Pilbara Echo, Mathias handles the printing side of things with Coral Coast Print. If you see the lights on at the Echo late at night or early in the morning, most of the time it is Mathias, printing away.
Westy (Nathaniel Ihanimo)
Some of you may know of Westy through his design and illustration artwork with his personal business, Westytoons. The talented senior graphic designer will ‘Westify’ anything that comes his way.
Sue has been involved with newspapers and magazines for 25 years. Although it was only six years ago that she made the transition from marketing to graphic designing, obviously it was a good choice that she did.
Our newest graphic designer, Jessie started in graphic design seven years ago. She has recently moved over to Karratha from the Gold Coast where she used to work at a local directory.
Originally from Germany, Sabrina travelled to Australia on a working Visa and on her travels, she stopped by the Pilbara Echo. With a graphic design history, she has fitted in nicely with the rest of the Echo team.
We wouldn’t be where we are now, without the constant help of our contributors, including the locals who send in articles which they feel are important to share with the community and to our distributors and walkers, who spend their Saturday afternoon and Sunday mornings sorting out the Echo’s and making sure they are delivered on time.
Thank you everyone for all your hard work. So many people have worked together to make the Pilbara Echo possible.