Year of lessons in tabloid revamp

By Heather McCracken

Today marks a special milestone for the Times-Age. November 7 is one year since we relaunched as a morning tabloid newspaper.

It was a bold move for the paper, ending 130 years of publishing (under this masthead and its predecessor titles) as an afternoon broadsheet.

We, along with our sister paper in the South Island, the Oamaru Mail, were the first of what has become a wave of tabloid conversions, which most recently saw the country's biggest newspaper, the New Zealand Herald, launch its new compact size.

Looking back at our first tabloid editions, it's clear that we've learned a lot about how to put the paper together.

We messed some things up - our rejigging of the puzzle page wasn't a success and needed some tweaking.

You told us the family notices were tricky to find, so we moved them and included a pointer on the front page and an index to notices on page 2.

The format change was, in some ways, the easiest move. More readers were unsure about having a morning paper instead of their afternoon edition.

But the reality of the way news works today - with people keeping up with breaking news on the internet - meant keeping our stories fresh until you read them in the late afternoon was becoming an impossible task.

Our morning edition has fresher news and we can keep you updated on our website during the day.

We've had some great success this year, too - as a finalist for the recent Panpa Newspaper of the Year awards for circulation under 10,000, up against newspapers from around Australasia, Asia and the Pacific.

The paper you're reading today is still evolving - it has to, because in today's news world there's no place for newspapers to sit back and take it easy.

But what won't change is our focus on bringing you the best local news for Wairarapa.

Thanks for being part of our changes in the past year, and for supporting your local paper.


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