discovering a simpiler life

discovering a simpiler life

Monday, 3 March 2014

Introducing Bluestone Magazine and Week 10 of the Money Challenge

As this post is going live, so too is an online independent magazine I am growing to love.  It's called Bluestone Magazine and it is published every Monday with stories and opinion pieces about the people, food producers, artists, quiet heroes and the goings on in the South-West Victoria.  It is now in it's 7th month of publication, and lets hope it will be around for many, many more.
Dr. Louise North (left) and Carol Altmann (right)

I was fortunate enough to sit down and have a chat with the charismatic pair and find out the story behind Bluestone.

Both are endearingly humble about their working history, and I'm sure it's from being the questioner's rather than the centerpiece of a story that I had to remind myself to be quiet as they have a way of spinning the conversations round to let you do the talking.  But I held is their story.

Louise North grew up in rural New South Wales in Tamworth.  She had left school with no real plans for the future and was working at the local Kmart when a customer remembered her love of words and poetry at school and sparked the idea of journalism into her.  A cadetship on the Central coast followed, there were no university pathways in those days, just typewriters, a notepad and a desire to ask questions and tell a story.  Working for the Australian Associate Press as a sub-editor in a male dominated newsrooms and hitting the proverbial ceiling , Louise went to university where she completed a highly commended PhD in gender studies and journalism and went on to write extensively on gender and newsroom culture and taught at university in the disciplines of Sociology, Gender studies, Journalism and Media Studies.  Dr. Louise North's first book, "The gendered newsroom" received international recognition from some of the world's most respected scholars in the field of journalism and feminist media studies.  But there is still more....

Carol Altmann was undertaking a Teaching diploma when she decided to take a leap of faith and try for a cadetship at the Warrnambool standard.  Having been an avid writer throughout high school, it was there that her love of community and knowing the people around you started.  Carol went on to be a journalist for 15 years and has a Masters of Journalism.  Working for Messenger newspapers where she became chief of staff and was the State Political Reporter for the Adelaide Advertiser in 1997.  A few years later she became the Adelaide bureau chief for The Australian and then transfered to Tasmania where she was the Hobart equivilant and also where, her and Louise met.  Carol then went on the become a lecturer UN this field at Monash University.  Carol has written 2 books, acclaimed non-fiction "After Port Arthur" which was shortlisted in the top 10 books for the 2006 Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism and "Four seasons with a grumpy goat" which is a humorous memoir about owning a hobby farm in Tasmania, which I'm dying to read by the way.  We really are lucky to have them both at the helm of their baby Bluestone aren't we?!

It's hard not to get excited and wrapt up in the Bluestone philosophy that Louise and Carol so genuinely sprook "Finding great community people, highlighting interesting, creative and talented people rather than focusing on the negative which then makes people feel that their community is a safe place or great place to live." It's a refreshing change for our local media to be so positive when the opposite can be true.

Bluestone magazine currently has around 80 paying subscribers and local businesses advertising on the online publication.  I have friends who are locals living overseas and in other states that log on to see what's happening in the area.  As Louise and Carol have invested their hearts and souls into starting this venture, so it is that the reality is they need 200 subscribers to help continue it's work. That is $8 a week or $85 a year, to keep this inspiring, heart warming magazine thriving.  Neither Louise or Carol are making a fortune from your money, more it is to pay for the on going costs associated with the time, commitment and integrity of Bluestone Magazine.  If you have any doubt about their passion, enthusiasm, or motives, hunt them down at a local market and tell me you don't feel the positive energy coming off them.  Our town and diverse region needs and deserves Bluestone Magazine....get on it.

*no money was exchanged for this interview but I was plyed with coffee and chocolate brownies :-)

 Ciao, Jan.

1 comment :

  1. Wow it sounds like two very impressive resumes! :D Coffee, laughter and brownies should be part of every day :)


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