Mark is leaving us and we'll miss him terribly. I saw Mark as a true-blue professional, if somewhat terse at times.
God knows how many battles he had with the big guys in Auckland. I'll bet he fought fiercely.
Whanganui has been all the better for having Mark Dawson at the helm of the Chronicle.
I've had many visitors remark on its excellence. Thank you for being with us, Mark.
We agree, Denise. We will miss him also, a consummate newsman. — Editor (acting).
Does anyone care that the position of editor of the Whanganui Chronicle will no longer exist in its own right from March 13, and why all the secrecy?
In response to an opinion piece by Rachel Rose, NZME's managing editor Shayne Currie asked Chronicle readers to rest assured their team in Whanganui has their full support in continuing to be the voice of the region and advocating on our behalf.
It seems to me they haven't got off to a great start, because Rachel's column is the first we've heard about the editorial changes.
I would expect the local bastion of news to report all news, even about its own organisation.
The lack of reporting about this change heralds a worrying trend of self-censorship.
It also makes me fear that the new regime that combines editorial and commercial responsibilities will lead to increasing pressure on our reporters not to cover negative stories about NZME's advertising "clients".
Let's hear some assurances that this won't be the case, and that there will be steps to ensure editorial independence.
It's an awfully slippery slope.
Rest assured, Richard, editorial independence and news integrity remain the cornerstones of our profession. In this era of fake news, one could argue it has never been more important. — Editor (acting).
Students take a stand
I applaud the students organising climate change protests for Friday.
I hope huge numbers of students in Whanganui and all over Aotearoa participate.
The current Listener reviews a book by the deputy editor of New York magazine, who never considered himself an "environmentalist" until he began to research the science of climate change.
His book, The Uninhabitable Earth, describes the profound changes to our society that will threaten my children and even more so, my grandchildren, if this generation continues to obfuscate.
The young people who absent themselves from school on Friday are the generation who will be most affected by the changing climate.
They hope to encourage our politicians, who will not be much affected, to act decisively now, for them.
I hope they do, for my children and grandchildren's generation.
I hope we don't hear any hypocritical noises along the lines of "striking is futility" from school principals.
I hope we don't get any petty party political point-scoring posturing from the usual suspects, who have managed to delay meaningful action for the past 30 years.
Just bipartisan action from our Parliament.
And, for the doubters and waverers out there — please, follow the money, and read the science.
Hooray for volunteers
I wish to express my appreciation for the extremely informative science talks organised by Ella and Peter Grant over the past few years.
It's another great service planned by volunteers in Whanganui.
This town has proved to be a real treasure trove with its rich variety of cultural activities.
The Science Forum fulfilled a vital role in keeping many of us informed over a range of subjects. I sincerely hope someone else will pick up the banner and carry on.
Send your letters to: The Editor, Whanganui Chronicle, 100 Guyton St, PO Box 433, Whanganui 4500; or email firstname.lastname@example.org