To mark the Whanganui Chronicle's 165th anniversary we asked people in the community to talk about the role New Zealand's longest-running newspaper plays in their lives.
As told to Mike Tweed.
Whanganui High School student Alice Quigley
My parents pick up the Chronicle from the dairy or supermarket but I like to read it online.
The majority of people who are around the same year as me would probably be more interested in social media than actual facts and information about our community.
I would say the Chronicle is incredibly underrated compared to other sites people are on, like Facebook and Instagram.
A lot of the things we find on the internet these days is not very reliable, so it's good to have a source we can go to when we want to find out more about the place we live.
It's quite important that you can find out what's happening locally, especially when you're living in a small community. Whanganui is quite different to a lot of other towns I think, we are a bit of an outlier. We have a lot of art and unique aspects, and it's cool that we are able to report on that.
It can be quite inspiring to look through the paper and see a competition or an opportunity that a teenage student has taken, and it makes you think about what you could do as well.
That's really important for the development of our future.
Former Whanganui mayor Annette Main
The Chronicle was always extremely useful, especially when it went online. I made sure I read it before I stepped out the door. If I had read it, then I knew what kind of questions I was going to be asked that day. I was more prepared to be able to answer them.
Even now, I still read it before I do anything else.
There were a lot of people around that said "this is the end of newspapers" but I still see the Chronicle as a valuable window into life in Whanganui.
It's interesting to look at some of the old Chronicles, or [Wanganui] Heralds even, and see how things were reported back then compared to now. It's a lot less formal these days.
Letters to the editor have always been really important to me, as a way to gauge what the community is thinking, and what's important to them.
I would like to see the Chronicle continuing to play a role in looking at current issues, and really covering things like our health reforms and Three Waters on a local basis as they develop. I'm sure it used to happen a lot more, and I really did enjoy that.
Former editor of the Whanganui Chronicle John Maslin
Obviously things have changed a great deal since I started there in 1969. The Chronicle and [the now defunct Wanganui Herald] were the organs that got the information to local people. It was a community paper, a serious paper, it delivered opinion, it was an important part of the community in those days particularly.
There's still a generation of us, the post war babies, who were brought up with the newspaper and will never give up the feel of a newspaper. You were born into it, and you relied on it. It becomes a part of your life, a habit, I suppose.
I'm a newspaper man. I love getting it delivered, taking it out of the letterbox and reading it.
There are some issues that need to be looked at and scrutinised very closely, and need to be done by a thoroughly independent organisation. That's why newsrooms like the Chronicle are so desperately important. It's manned by people who are trained in a craft that sorts out the fact from the fiction. In that capacity, the Chronicle still has its place.
It might be delivered in a different way perhaps, but it's still vitally important to our community. It's the independent voice you should be able to rely on to give all the information, warts and all.
Whanganui iwi leader Ken Mair
The media has long been a mechanism used to undermine Māori integrity and history but I've seen improvements at the Chronicle over the past five to 10 years.
Historically, we've challenged the Chronicle for being part of the process of colonisation and the imposition of racism, etc.
It has allowed what I've always called a very anaemic perspective that has continually given our people a negative bias.
From my point of view, in the last five, maybe 10, years, there has been a noticeable attempt by the Chronicle to change and have a better understanding of our issues and viewpoints as iwi, hapū and Māori.
I would like to say things have turned around dramatically, but that's not the case at all.
The case is the Chronicle has made some positive, small steps to improve their understanding of our issues and our aspirations.
The paper correcting and changing our name (Whanganui) is one thing that should be acknowledged and recognised as being positive.
Most of the entities and institutions have changed it now, and I get less and less correspondence and threats about it.
That is a classic example of the Chronicle doing something right.
Bayleys Whanganui managing director John Bartley
Whether it's online or as a physical paper, I think it's really important in sharing locally stories and local knowledge.
It keeps up to pace, obviously not as fast as the social media side of things, but I think there's still a place for the tangible, tactile action of holding a paper and reading it over breakfast.
When you're reading something in the newspaper itself, you're not getting distracted by all these other comments online, from people who have potentially not even read the article.
From what I can see, it doesn't seem to be left-slanted or right-slanted. It's pretty balanced. There's two sides to every story, and I think it's important for a paper to tell
both of them.
When I get to work I pick up the paper from the front door and go through, page to page. As is the case with most businesses, it goes on the lunchroom table and staff flick through it.
It probably gets read 10 times here each day.
From a business perspective, it's a form of advertising locally that's still really relevant.
That's why we spend a reasonable sum of money each year with the paper.
There are different platforms you can advertise on, and you have to be across every medium.
Treadwell Gordon partner Garry Spooner.
I've been a subscriber to the Chronicle since 1971.
Although I've got the Herald app now, I'm still a great believer in the printed word. My age would tell you that, I'm in my 70s now. That's probably the age where the relevance of the newspaper is still there. My son and son-in-law are professional men, and they both use the app.
I read the paper before I go to work, and my wife reads it in the evening.
The Chronicle is good with local news, and I was a great follower of Jim Thomson and JB Phillips, particularly with sport. My dad kept a magnificent scrapbook for me of my sporting and academic achievements, and he would cut out the club cricket scoreboards from the paper.
There was perhaps more emphasis on sport back then, which I enjoyed, but that's me.
It's really important for the community to have the local paper. I hear the odd comment that it's getting more "Herald-based", but nevertheless, there is still a lot of local stuff featured, which is great.
I always make a point to read the letters to the editor. I find that really interesting, and of course most of it is commenting on local stuff too.
You can't always have a "good news" newspaper, you've got to tell the world it as it is.
I think interest in the written word has fallen away with the younger folk, and how you'd get that back is another matter. Social media is always going to be there. It's just a sign of the times.
Former South Taranaki District Council community development manager Claire Symes
We used the Chronicle a lot, to share stories and to promote the fact that we wanted feedback, which was especially useful for border towns like Waverley and Pātea.
It's still relevant, especially in the council's role. It's important to share what we're up to. People want to know what's happening locally.
There's probably a lot more people reading it online now than the actual paper, but often articles from the paper are shared onto our local Facebook pages. That's another avenue.
I worked for the Chronicle quite a few years ago, and there was no social media then. I guess the positive side of it is more people have access to the news.
That's always useful in getting information out to people.