Did that really just happen?

I am always surprised, come this time of year, how many things happen in a 12-month period – and how much I’ve forgotten.

The big things stick in the mind: the deportation of Novak Djokovic; a federal election at which Labor beat the Coalition for only the fourth time since the Second World War; the state election when Daniel Andrews’ ALP not only fought off Matthew Guy’s Liberals, but extended his stonking majority; a war in Ukraine; the Queen’s death; the ending of most COVID restrictions; rising interest rates; skyrocketing costs.

It’s surprising how many things happen in a 12-month period.Credit:The Age

But there’s so much else that has faded in the background, or already feels like ancient history.

This time last year, our international borders were still mostly shut and people were still on the streets calling for freedom from COVID laws.

It was March when Shane Warne died suddenly of a heart attack in a Thai hotel room, prompting many people, but particularly men of a certain age, to start feeling less secure about their longevity. Rod Marsh – a hero of my youth – also died, as did Olivia Newton-John. Was that really this year?

Before NSW, and later Victoria, suffered devastating La Nina floods, Queensland was under water. We’ve had huge data breaches, a crash in the value and reputation of crypto, another casino inquiry leading to another damning finding.

Grace Tame, using nothing but the placement of her eyeballs, expressed eloquently a verdict on Scott Morrison that Australians later delivered through the ballot box.

A year ago, Ash Barty was still a tennis professional and teal was something you painted on the walls. Now it describes the women you put in parliaments to replace Liberal MPs.

So yes, a lot has happened.

At The Age we’ve covered all these things, and many, many more. We have published (drum roll please) 47,134 separate pieces of researched, verified, cross-checked and edited pieces of written journalism on our website since January 1, many of which made it into our newspaper. That’s not counting all the photographs, videos, podcasts, cartoons, illustrations, guides and the non-journalistic things we bring you: puzzles, graphics, letters.

We have not got everything right – and just occasionally, we’ve been embarrassingly wrong. But I am immensely proud of what we do, and grateful to everyone who works, in our case literally around the clock, to deliver it.

Daily, our reporters, opinion writers and editors set out asking the question: what do people need to know today? What will best inform them, entertain them, divert them, make them feel smarter, more prepared for daily life?

Most of all, though, I’m grateful to our subscribers. I’ve written before about how the business of journalism has gone through, and continues to navigate, dizzying changes at breakneck speed, but one thing is clear: subscriptions will be the lifeblood of our future.

That puts the pressure on us to deliver journalism worth paying for. It’s a great, daunting challenge to have and as one year comes to an end and another begins, we look forward to trying anew to meet it.

We know one thing for sure: there will be plenty of things to write about.

Michael Bachelard sends a newsletter to subscribers each week. Sign up to receive his Note from the Editor.

Most Viewed in National

From our partners

Source: Read Full Article