From the editor
DURING the past couple of weeks I’ve had occasion to telephone and email readers who left me messages about the recent change to our television programs, which restricts coverage to only Saturday and Sunday’s free-to-air networks. Obviously I didn’t hear from people for whom the programs are of no or little interest — well, I lie: there was one person who said they were happy we didn’t reduce our editorial coverage and that they didn’t care about the TV listings. It’s natural people should get in touch only when they are unhappy rather than when things are toddling along according to plan and custom. So I have been hearing from lots of you and, while I’ve been on the receiving end of a fair bit of criticism, it has also been an honour to speak to older readers who have been buying The Weekend Australian for decades. True, it’s not so much of a thrill to be shouted at, but inspiring to talk to those who were keen to have a chat about the paper, the rapid pace of change, new technologies and so on, and to hear of their great fondness for the paper. When I started as a journalist I worked for a small country daily newspaper and it was a certainty you’d bump into people who were closely affected by what you were writing about. For them it was of the greatest importance and certainly put matters into perspective. For me, in this recent set of close encounters, the most touching conversations were with quite elderly readers who said they’d give online programs a go. I know not everyone wants to do that; I know there are some who cannot do that; I definitely accept everyone’s right to say exactly what they think, even if it comes in a robust form. But whatever your views, your passion gives hope that newspapers will be around for a while yet.