30 January 2024

Lyndon Keane takes the reins at the Cape York Weekly

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Lyndon Keane has been announced as the editor to take the reigns from founding editor Matt Nicholls following the masthead’s acquisition by Region Media.

When Lyndon Keane started as a cadet with the North West Star newspaper in Mt Isa it was still a daily and every now and then they had to thump the printing press with a broom to keep it going.

News and the North are both in the blood for the new editor of the Cape York Weekly.

These days he’s more likely to hit the refresh button rather than thumping the presses, but his passion for the unique characters and issues of Northern Australia has remained a constant.

“I love the people up here, I love the stories, there’s never any day that’s the same”, he says. “We saw that during Cyclone Jasper and the flooding with the characters who floated into the mainstream media as a result.

“But it’s probably a fairly universal feeling that Cape York residents are not heard by Brisbane or Canberra. That’s one of the unique benefits of being owned by Region Media, because we have a footprint in Canberra with the federal decision makers.”

A self-described political junkie, Lyndon has earned his stripes across the Top End and Cape working as a journalist, editor and most recently in local government, doing consultancy and communications.

“I’ve taken the colourful route but I always wanted to get back to regional journalism and when the opportunity arose to join the Cape York weekly as Matt Nicholls departs, it all aligned with my values as a journalist.”

Lyndon nominates his top three priorities as maintaining trust with the readers, telling local stories with knowledge and depth and being frank and fearless in his approach.

“There are some very very unique humans who need to have their stories told”, he says. “I’m also hoping we can shake the tree a little if those elected to look after us aren’t paying enough attention.”

Lyndon says the key to being a successful editor is being part of the community, whether it’s in an official capacity or catching up with people at a sausage sizzle.

“The phone number on the front page of the Cape York Weekly is my personal mobile. Somewhere like Weipa or the rest of the Cape, it won’t be hard to find me anyway.

“I think the mainstream media in urban and metro areas only take an interest when there’s something that will help their online numbers. I want to be there to ensure the community’s voice is heard consistently and fairly, not relying on blow-ins from across the country trying to pretend they’re local,” he says.

Lyndon nominates the major changes likely at the forthcoming local government elections as a big issue along with some of the “outside the box” development happening on the Cape.

And then, there’s the people, who Lyndon says are always worth the time.

“I remember the most boring interview I’d ever done and thinking ‘I’ll never get a story out of this bloke’. Then I asked what he’d done on his holidays – and he’d just climbed Mt Everest!

“I love meeting people and hearing their stories, so I’m looking forward to doing much more of that on my travels across the Cape.”

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