Bega District News part of ‘the best growth story in media’

Excited about the growth of the Bega District News’ online presence and Fairfax Regional Media’s NewsNow project are BDN staff members (from left) Gary Etcell, editor Ben Smyth, Jacob McMaster, sales manager Aimee Hay and Albert McKnight.

Excited about the growth of the Bega District News’ online presence and Fairfax Regional Media’s NewsNow project are BDN staff members (from left) Gary Etcell, editor Ben Smyth, Jacob McMaster, sales manager Aimee Hay and Albert McKnight.

FAIRFAX Regional Media has set another record with more than 48million page views in June across its network of websites, up from 20million per month a year ago.

Editorial director Stuart Howie said the network was on the precipice of hitting 50million page views and he was targeting 100million under the regional division's signature editorial project "NewsNow".

“This represents one of the best growth stories in media in this country,” Mr Howie said.

“Our editorial staff across Australia are committed to driving content across platforms.  And our communities are loving it - they have an insatiable appetite for local news and information from our trusted brands.

"Our audiences have never been bigger or stronger."

The BDN website recorded 334,000 page views during June – a 330 per cent increase on the same time last year. It also attracted 32,400 unique browsers, a 150 per cent increase over last June’s figure.

Fairfax Regional comprises 15 daily newspapers and more than 150 non-daily titles – including the Bega District News.

Most of these have associated websites, mobile sites, Facebook pages and a presence across other social media platforms.

Mobile and social media represent the biggest growth in the way readers are accessing information.

The number of visits to the regional network from mobile Facebook has tripled over the past 12 months to almost 20 per cent of its audience.

The network recorded 4.6million unique browsers for the month.

The standout success has been the Bendigo Advertiser, the inaugural NewsNow site, which recorded a massive 4.5million page views for the month and is the network’s second most popular site behind the Newcastle Herald.

The massive online growth is also evident at the Bega District News.

The BDN website, www.begadistrictnews.com.au, recorded 334,000 page views during June – a 330 per cent increase on the same time last year!

It also attracted 32,400 unique browsers, a 150 per cent increase over last June’s figure.

NewsNow amounts to a total newsroom makeover, putting traditionally run print operations on a digital-first, seven-day-a-week footing.

A core objective of NewsNow is to focus as much resource in a newsroom on news gathering and disseminating content across every channel possible.

The project will now roll out across Australia, delivering a huge amount of extra content to Fairfax Regional's digital audiences.

"No other media organisation has such a commitment to Australian communities, large and small," Howie said. 

"We have more than 700 journalists based in 100 newsrooms around Australia. That reach is important to public life and a wonderful opportunity for advertisers."

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