Rylstone and Kandos journalist for the Mudgee Guardian, Brent Barlow, has announced his retirement. Expanding an impressive 20 years and growing up in a newspaper press environment, Brent has passionately written thousands of news articles and photographed countless significant events for the community, consequently transpiring into a respected and valued local identity.
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Few people know of Brent’s family history with the paper, starting with his great-grandfather, George Henry Cohen, launching the first issue of The Mudgee Independent in the 1870’s. “In 1890 Charles Knight put out the first issue of The Mudgee Guardian and George Cohen, who married Charles’ sister Mary, then bought the paper from him a few years later. After George’s death, the paper was sold to the Madell family where it was renamed The Mudgee Mail. Georges’ son, Robert Cohen, managed the Mudgee Mail until 1964”, Brent recalls. It was during this time Brent started folding papers after school for pocket money, “I have exciting memories of the big old printing press, the hot lead flowing into the linotype and the rush to fold the hot newspapers in time for the paper boys to deliver to households on their pushbikes.”
After finishing school, Brent trained as a copywriter for 2MG where he was a junior announcer. He then went on to work for The Lithgow Mercury, owned by the Armati family, who owned several papers including The Mudgee Guardian. In 1996, Brent was transferred to The Mudgee Guardian, where he would ultimately become the Rylstone and Kandos journalist.
When asked to reveal an unforgettable article, Brent disclosed that it’s difficult to single out a specific story after writing so many. He did state that the Rylstone Shire Council’s amalgamation was memorable, but above all, he took pleasure in writing personal profiles on the publics achievements. Additionally, he expressed that “I’ve tried to write stories that make people feel proud of their community and that highlight some of the district’s wonderful natural and manmade assets. Newspapers like the Mudgee Guardian play an incredibly important role in people’s lives through providing information and interesting articles far and wide.”
Brent’s decision to leave the paper wasn’t easy for him make, but he said ‘somehow the time felt right.’ Nevertheless, Brent won’t be completely out of the community channels. He still intends to manage the Community Capers and continue as a presenter and President for the local community radio station KRR. He’ll also continue his monthly interviews on ABC Regional Radio.
After reporting on our community for so long, there’s no doubt Brent will be greatly missed. On behalf of our community, I’d like to thank you Brent for your passion and devotion to our community, not just a respectful journalist for the Mudgee Guardian, but as an active member of our community and our organisations. We wish you a very happy retirement!
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