2021: It’s a Wrap by News Of The Area’s Sandra Moon

Farewell 2021 and farewell readers from Sandra Moon.


HAVE you been enjoying Coffs Coast News Of The Area and Nambucca Valley News Of The Area?

Chances are you have and more than likely one of the reasons is because of the range of stories delivered by our reporters and underpinning those is the independent nature of this regional newspaper.

In fact the free press and freedom of speech are part of the core foundations that we hold dear in our democracy.

And is it a coincidence that as social media shares of disinformation move faster than trusted sources of news, that threats to our democracy are also rising?

The 2021 Nobel Peace Prize has been won by two journalists, Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov, in distinct recognition of the role journalism and the free press play as we witness challenges to democracy amidst disinformation.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee recognised the journalists for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.

The committee stated, “Ms Ressa and Mr Muratov are receiving the Peace Prize for their courageous fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia.

“At the same time, they are representatives of all journalists who stand up for this ideal in a world in which democracy and freedom of the press face increasingly adverse conditions.”

It is the first time since 1935 that the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to journalists.

Then, at another pivotal time in history when threats to democracy were on the rise, Carl von Ossietzky had written about Hitler’s rearming of Germany.

This year’s winner Maria Ressa makes reference to that time in history in her award speech, available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1w3rRRBoq8.

It is a must watch for truths about the state of democracy, freedom of the press and the threats to it, including disinformation and the physical threats to those continuing to fight for press freedom — publishers, news agencies, and journalists.

As the Norwegian Nobel Committee stated, “Free, independent and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies and war propaganda.

“The Norwegian Nobel Committee is convinced that freedom of expression and freedom of information help to ensure an informed public.

“These rights are crucial prerequisites for democracy and protect against war and conflict,” the Committee said.

“The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov is intended to underscore the importance of protecting and defending these fundamental rights.

“Without freedom of expression and freedom of the press, it will be difficult to successfully promote fraternity between nations, disarmament and a better world order to succeed in our time.”

So, independent journalism and trusted news sources are vital to our democracy.

And they need your support now more than ever.

And let’s face it with disinformation racing around the internet you need them too.

NOTA prides itself on being independent and being able to bring you journalism that does not sway its reportage to the whims of council, big business or advertisers and we will continue to do so.

Dear readers, sadly this is my last piece for News Of The Area as I am off to write for The Grafton Examiner.

I have enjoyed bringing you stories from the region and know that NOTA will continue to thrive and reflect this awesome piece of paradise.

So as 2021 fades off into the sunset I hope you enjoy the best holiday season ever.
We all deserve that.

Find me on instagram @sandramoonwriter.


By Sandra MOON

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