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Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Feels like time for a change

The times, they are a-changin’. So wrote Bob Dylan in 1964, almost 60 years ago. The song captured an era of global social change. It became an anthem of sorts because the lyrics dared to challenge the conventional thinking of the time.

Change is, of course, a constant in our lives. The world does not stand still. It could be easily argued that the pace of change today is quicker now than it has been for many generations. Some would say quicker than ever before.

And while change may sometimes be perceived as unwelcome in an otherwise settled existence, it can also play an important part in finding a solution to a new problem. And, as we all know, problems can happen along all too frequently.

Media has changed at breakneck speed in the past 30 years. In the newspaper sector, for example, we have long since thrown away the typewriters and farewelled the letterpress era, when movable type was painstakingly composed by hand for each page by skilled, but ultimately obsolete, compositors. It was a dramatic but nonetheless necessary change and the first step toward the digital era.

As exciting as it was to be part of, those of us involved in the new generation of production had little idea just how much change was ahead of us.

I can recall a well-heeled American in a flash suit and slicked-back hair telling a room full of inherently sceptical journalists that, before too long, subscribers would ‘make’ their own newspapers with hand-picked articles from home and around the world.

We scoffed at the mere suggestion that some newspapers would not survive the next phase of radical change. It transpired that the internet was only a matter of months away, and the worldwide web would revolutionise media – so much more than anyone could have predicted.

Some big international mastheads fell by the wayside.

It seems that, at times, it is only our imagination that limits how we use media.

There’s absolutely no reason why anyone with the requisite technical ability can’t set up their own media outlet. They can give their views on current events, blog about this and podcast about that. And some do, with varying degrees of success.

At the Wairarapa Times-Age, change, particularly the changes that new technology can bring, demands more of the individual and more of the collective efforts of the whole business. But if we don’t change, we risk losing touch with our community and how we communicate with our readership.

An important change here in Chapel St is about to hit your screens.

Our new website, which made its debut today, is a significant upgrade from what we have had until now. It’s a change we needed to make. It took a lot of effort, which included many hours of tinkering and adjusting the final product.

Subscribers to the new website will spot the difference. It will be much easier to find the news and views you want to read first. It will also be easier to use on your phone, and it all starts at a spectacular new home page.

Enjoy. We hope you like it.

Roger Parker
Roger Parker
Roger Parker is the Times-Age news director. In the Venn-diagram of his two great loves, news and sport, sports news is the sweet spot.

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