Editor's speech at the Fairfield Local Business Awards last week.

Speech at the Fairfield Local Business Awards last Wednesday.

We live in the best of times and the worst of times, to misquote one of Dickens' best opening lines.

No industry in modern times is being so rocked by change as the media, particularly newspapers.

And newspapers are fighting back.

I get an email each morning from The New York Times. It tells me all the major stories I need to know about what's happening in this broader region.

Never before have we been so saturated with news. Targeted with news. We used to follow newspapers. Now they follow us. Pushing their news feeds into our phones, our iPads, our desktops, our watches!

But big things are happening in my little neck of the woods and the big papers don't tell me that. Neither do metro TV or radio.

That's where the Champion comes into its own. The sole purpose of the Champion is to reach into this community. To tell the stories of our people. To tell the stories that affect our people.

And what a diverse population it is.

A third of the people living here were born in Australia. Just 33 per cent.

Then, in order, Iraq, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Philippines, Iran, Italy, Lebanon, Bosnia, New Zealand, Chile, India, Syria and Fiji.

Less than 20 per cent speak English only. Other languages, in order, are Assyrian, Arabic, Vietnamese and some language called Other.

And clearly you don't have to speak English to be nice to each other. Suck on that, Mark Latham!

It's my vision that every cultural group feels at home in the Champion. Not just a visitor, but it's a safe place to feel at home.

And as much as The New York Times wants to tailor its news to suit me in corner of the world it cannot match what the Champion is already doing for our people here.

We're proud to be the media partner of the Local Business Awards and recognise the hard work that goes into running every small business here.

You deserve to be recognised.

The business community here has been very supportive of the Champion. This is our opportunity to return the honour.


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