Country Caller is an online, multimedia news service advocating for rural Queensland. It’s founded by myself, Harry Clarke, former News Corp and Nine Network journalist now based in my 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.
Country Caller’s coverage area is predominantly the Western Downs, Surat Basin and Maranoa regions, but also extending to the Darling Downs, Southern Downs, and South West. That’s not restrictive – if there’s a newsworthy event or issue to the north or interstate deemed of interest to the Country Caller’s audience, it will be covered.
I’m 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, I returned to Chinchilla and began my career with the Chinchilla News, as well as the Balonne Beacon in St George and the Western Times in Charleville. I 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.
I 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 I 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, but my strongest journalism interests are in country Queensland. I believe people in the bush deserve good journalism and advocacy, and I believe 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 I believe 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 news service.