Editorial: We want readers to have a say

By ANDREW AUSTIN - EDITOR

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There are some very exciting changes ahead for Hawke's Bay Today.

As previously announced, the week-day edition of Hawke's Bay Today will change from a broadsheet newspaper to a compact version on February 25, 2013.

We are very excited about the change and we are determined to produce the best possible newspaper we can. One thing that won't change is our commitment to reporting the region's news and covering community events.

The newspaper and our website, www.hawkesbaytoday.co.nz will remain the main sources for news in Hawke's Bay. We will retain everything you love about Hawke's Bay Today, but we plan to give you even more local news, sport, analysis and opinion.

The new Hawke's Bay Today will look different, but not so different that you don't recognise it as your favourite paper. The smaller size will make it easier to read, but it will be a much thicker paper - jam-packed full of news. National and international research has shown that readers prefer the smaller size and recently our sister newspaper, the New Zealand Herald, made a successful change to compact.

We are looking at all aspects of the paper, from design and presentation to content and style. We have teams of journalists and designers looking at the makeup of the paper. Everything is under scrutiny, even our masthead on the front page. We are planning to update it and we are working on some options. As soon as we have decided on the new masthead, we will show you.

At this stage our Saturday paper, Hawke's Bay Today Weekend, will remain a broadsheet, but we also have some exciting changes in store for the biggest paper of the week. These changes will come into effect later this year and we will tell you all about it soon. Our website, www.hawkesbaytoday.co.nz, will also be getting a new look. It will be even easier to access and there will be more photo galleries and videos of local events.

But we cannot make all this change without you, the readers. We want you to be involved in every aspect of the change. I have been editor of the paper for about seven months now and I am always pleasantly surprised about how loyal and passionate our readers are about Hawke's Bay Today. We plan to harness this loyalty and enthusiasm by holding reader focus groups to hear what you want from your paper. In the meantime, let me know what you want to see in your new Hawke's Bay Today.

Please email me at feedback@hbtoday.co.nz or write to me at Hawke's Bay Today, 113 Karamu Road North, Hastings 4122. We welcome your thoughts and ideas.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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