Opinion

Curtain falls on a remarkable time at the Chronicle

OPINION: Two-and-a-half years ago then-Chronicle editor Peter Chapman took a chance and hired a guy who had just returned to Australia from managing a pub in Singapore to be the new court reporter.

The time since then has absolutely flown by, and as I write my last column for the Chronicle before taking up a new position with a paper in New South Wales, I would like to start by thanking Peter for taking that chance.

Without further ado, here are some of the highlights since the start of 2011.

Biggest Mistake: Slime Man

There have been a few mess-ups in my stories over the years, but generally I have been able to comfort myself that they occurred during the editing process rather than the writing process.

Slime Man, however, was all mine.

In my first year, I was curious about a thick, stinking mass of green goop that blanketed the beaches of Dundowran and Hervey Bay, and I wrote a story with the relevant government department about what the stuff was and whether it posed risks to wild-life or people.

Unfortunately, I thought it would be funny to create a little snowman made of the slime, and add it to the story.

Two years later, I still run into people holding a grudge about a "ridiculous made-up story about Hervey Bay being invaded by slime creatures".

One person even told me that was the day they stopped reading the Chronicle.

It taught me the valuable lesson that if you lose a reader at the start of a story, the rest of the content really won't matter.

Best Quote: "Councillors need to get their balls back from the CEO"

Former Mayor Ted Sorensen usually does a good job of keeping his head down, but seeing the council disbanding Wide Bay Water really got him riled up. He absolutely let rip at what he saw as inexperienced councillors being railroaded into a decision by CEO Lisa Desmond. Lisa and the councillors were outraged. Division 3 councillor Chris Loft went close to accusing me of making it up. Ted loved it.

Best Stories: a tie

One of the best things about being a reporter is when people choose to share their deeply personal stories with you. The most striking for me were with Desolee Murdoch and her family, and with councillor Stuart Taylor.

Desolee had tragically lost her son in a workplace accident, and she had every right to slam the door in my face. Instead, she invited me into her home with her family, and together they painted a beautiful tribute of young Kurt.

The interview with Stuart about his struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was one the most emotional I've ever experienced.

On a lighter note, I will also miss the daily shenanigans of the courts in Hervey Bay and Maryborough - it's better than daytime television.

Thank you all for reading.

Topics:  lessons, opinion, roderick makim




Approaching whales in Strait will cost you: EHP

The maximum penalty for intentionally moving too close to a whale is $20,113.50 or an on-the-spot fine of $609.

Migaloo and other white whales have special protection

ALDI build begins in Urangan

OPENING SOON: Aldi in Maryborough Street opens on Wednesday 3 August.

Jobseekers are urged to get their resumes ready for a new store.

No need to inform public about brumbies on Fraser: QPWS

A brumby on Fraser Island.

The spokeswoman said public did not need to be concerned.

Latest deals and offers

#SaveMarinaJoyce: How ISIS theory took over youtube channel

One young Youtuber accidentally gave rise to a conspiracy theory

Talking whiskey with Jack Daniel’s master distiller

It all comes down to the distillery

SIXTY MILES AHEAD sign with Eclipse Records, prepare new album 'Insanity'

Sixty Miles Ahead sign with Eclipse. Photo Contributed

Sixty Miles Ahead to release new album on Eclipse

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Date announced for Prince tribute concert

A Prince tribute concert will take place later this year

Matt Damon is taking a break from acting

Matt Damon is taking a break to spend time with his family

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles