Country Caller is an online, multimedia news service advocating for rural and regional Queensland. It’s founded by Harry Clarke, a former News Corp and Nine Network journalist now based in his home town of Chinchilla.
The purpose of the Country Caller is to provide high quality news and analysis of issues affecting industry and residents in rural Queensland.
The purpose is also to provide businesses with an engaging advertising platform.
Broadly, the Country Caller’s coverage area is southern Queensland, particularly the Darling Downs, Southern Downs, Surat Basin and Maranoa regions, but also extending to north. The Country Caller has established a presence in the Capricorn region and has following in Townsville and Cairns. If there’s a newsworthy event or issue deemed of interest to the Country Caller’s regional and metropolitan audience, it will be covered.
Harry is a proud Chinchilla local, growing up in the town before attending Brisbane Grammar School as a boarder. After graduating from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Journalism, he returned to Chinchilla and began his career with the Chinchilla News, as well as the Balonne Beacon in St George and the Western Times in Charleville. He then worked as a journalist with The Courier-Mail and as court reporter for The Cairns Post. Highlights during this time included the G20 Leaders Summit and the Palmer River goldfields murder of Bruce Schuler.
Harry then spent five years as a journalist with the Nine Network, working as a producer and reporter for national program A Current Affair, as well as Nine News Queensland. During this time he reported from Brisbane on a variety of crime, politics, human interest and national disaster stories. The most significant story was the Australian outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic in the first half of 2020.
Working for large media companies in metropolitan centres was professionally rewarding and enjoyable for Harry, but his strongest journalism interests are in country Queensland. People in the bush deserve good journalism and advocacy, and country Queensland is where some of the most interesting stories are found. Profound technological and economic change in recent decades has gradually made news service and delivery increasingly challenging, but where there’s change, there’s opportunity. With the support of residents willing to tell their stories and businesses willing to invest and advertise with impassioned journalism, the Country Caller can progress as an effective rural and regional news service.