When travelling around the country, and I stop for petrol, I'll pick up the free local community newspaper.
It's a habit I've got into. I like to read what's happening locally in that particular part of the country.
Our metropolitan and provincial newspapers cover pretty much the same domestic and international news. Obviously local news receives coverage and attention too, but community newspapers cover what I have seen disparagingly described as "chicken feed" news.
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Yet these community newspapers have played a significant "community connector" role in their local communities for many years. They tend to cover wider local topics, those not covered by larger local newspapers.
Topics that have an effect on local readers. The journalists are professionally trained reporters and editors. Over time these community newspapers were picked up and owned by large media organisations.
In February, Stuff announced 28 of the community and rural newspapers it owned would close if it couldn't find buyers for them.
The changes are a continuation of Stuff's "strategy to grow its digital business and recognise print's ongoing challenges".
For all businesses today technology has brought change. You either embrace it or your business will struggle to survive - If survive at all.
The move to get the balance right between print and digital has required tough decisions to be made. Looking at the list of the 28 mastheads, they cover many of New Zealand's smaller towns and rural communities.
You'd know some of them: Avenues, Waikato Farmer, Admire Marlborough, NZ Dairy Farmer, Discover Magazine, Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook, Admire Nelson, Hastings Mail, Christchurch Mail, Napier Mail, The Tribune, Kaikoura Star, Auto Xtra, South Canterbury Herald, Clutha Leader, North Waikato News, Invercargill Eye, Waiheke Marketplace, Newslink, Wairarapa News, Queenstown Mirror, NZ Farmer, Waitaki Herald, Canterbury Farmer, North Waikato News, Central District Farmer, Otago Southland Farmer, Ruapehu Press and the Rotorua Review.
Around 60 jobs will go.
It's a digital age. In America, nearly half of all Americans get at least some local news and information on their cellphones or tablet computer. They are interested in obtaining news that is practical and in real time. New Zealand is fast heading in that direction. It's mobile news these days, with a variety of media platforms.
There must be pockets of resistance, like me, about. Most mornings I have my head buried in a newspaper in one of our local cafes. It's how I start my day. I have two newspapers delivered daily, including one on Sunday.
Sunday morning is when I really enjoy my newspaper reading. I read from cover to cover. I do enough work on my computer. I don't want to spoil my reading enjoyment by having to do that on a computer or cellphone as well.
There is a whole generation growing up that will never know the enjoyment of propping yourself up with a bunch of pillows in bed reading the newspaper. To the digital savvy younger generation there probably wouldn't be anything worse.