Ross McPherson to deliver the Bruce Wilson Memorial Heritage Lecture 2024

Prominent local newspaperman Ross McPherson is set to deliver Greater Shepparton City Council’s fifth Bruce Wilson Memorial Heritage Lecture next month.

  • Ross McPherson to Deliver the 2024 Bruce Wilson Memorial Heritage Lecture: Prominent local newspaperman and leader of The McPherson Media Group, Ross McPherson, will discuss the history and future of local newspapers.
  • Event Details: The lecture will be held on Wednesday 5 June 2024, at Riverlinks Eastbank, Shepparton, with sessions at 1pm and 6pm. The 1pm session will be recorded and available on the council’s website.
  • Focus on Challenges and Future of Local Newspapers: Ross will address the challenges facing rural newspapers, including the impact of digital media, AI, and fake news, and the importance of local journalism in rural areas.
  • Community Engagement: Mayor Cr Shane Sali and Heritage Advisory Committee Chair Geoff Maynard highlight the significance of Ross McPherson’s contributions and encourage media enthusiasts and residents interested in local newspaper heritage to attend.

The Greater Shepparton Heritage Advisory Committee organises the biennial Heritage Lecture to promote an understanding of cultural heritage and conservation, as well as pride and interest in the many facets of cultural heritage significance in Greater Shepparton.

Country newspapers today face a myriad of challenges, like their city counterparts. Factors such as the internet, social media, Artificial Intelligence and fake news all distort the media landscape, and this is compounded by declining readerships and reduced advertising revenues.

The lecture will reflect on the history and value of local newspapers to rural areas, and the future for such publications in a rapidly-changing media environment.

Mr McPherson is uniquely placed to reflect on these issues, as he leads The McPherson Media Group who now own and run The Shepparton News, as well as eleven other local print newspapers in the Goulburn Valley, along with digital versions and several national agricultural magazines.

The Lecture will be held at Riverlinks Eastbank at 70 Welsford Street, Shepparton with two sessions at 1pm and 6pm. The 1pm session will be recorded and placed on council’s webpage for those who are unable to attend on the day.

Mr McPherson is the fourth generation of the McPherson’s to lead the company. The family has operated the Shepparton News for a remarkable 136 years. Ross’s great grandfather Colin purchased the newspaper in 1888 from the original owner, Thomas Haslem.

Mr McPherson studied law at Melbourne and London Universities and pursued mixed careers of law and journalism. He practiced commercial law in Melbourne before returning to the Greater Shepparton region, and the family business, in 1980 as Editor in Chief.

He has had many other community involvements, including devising the program for the Clever Food Conference. This led to a variety of initiatives engaging local government, energy suppliers and food industry as well as the industry-education partnerships and the Fairley Leadership program, which he chaired for its first 10 years.

Mr McPherson also chaired the Goulburn Valley Hospital Foundation for 33 years, was a founding director of the Committee for Greater Shepparton and is a charter member of Shepparton Central Rotary Club. All of which has led to him being awarded the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to print and digital media, and to the community.

Mayor, Cr Shane Sali encouraged anyone with an interest in the history and value of local newspapers in our region to attend.

“Council is extremely pleased to have Ross McPherson present this year’s Bruce Wilson Memorial Heritage Lecture to reflect on the heritage and future of country newspapers,” he said.

“This event will be one for all media enthusiasts, and those with an interest in the world of country newspapers.”

Chair of Council’s Heritage Advisory Committee, Geoff Maynard, said he was proud to have such an eminent local figure deliver on this topic of great importance to local residents.

“It is pleasing to have someone of Ross’ stature deliver this important heritage lecture. He has been such a prominent figure in the Greater Shepparton region for an extended period of time now,” he said.

Bruce Wilson Memorial Heritage Lecture 2024

  • Wednesday 5 June 2024
  • 1pm and 6pm
  • Riverlinks Eastbank, 70 Welsford Street, Shepparton

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