Pa­per comes of age

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE -

TANYIA Maxted has fond mem­o­ries of her time as a re­porter for the Auck­land City Har­bour News.

‘‘It was a new pa­per then so we were break­ing new ground.

‘‘We had a lot of free­dom to get cu­ri­ous and out on the beat to dis­cover what was go­ing on – I loved it.’’

Sharon Holt (or Sharon Chap­man as she was then) was a 25-year-old jour­nal­ist work­ing at the Ran­giora of­fice of The Press. She still has the tele­gram she re­ceived con­firm­ing her of­fer of em­ploy­ment with the new Auck­land pa­per.

‘‘The days of tele­grams seem long long ago,’’ she says. ‘‘ A lot has cer­tainly hap­pened tech­no­log­i­cally in those 30 years.

‘‘At jour­nal­ism school and at my jour­nal­ism jobs, we used type­writ­ers to write our sto­ries.

‘‘And of course there were no cell­phones. So when I was out and about on a story, I was on my own – un­less I hap­pened to have a pho­tog­ra­pher with me at the time.’’

Holt al­ways wanted to be a chil- dren’s book au­thor but knew she needed writ­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, so de­cided on a ca­reer in jour­nal­ism with a view to writ­ing books later.

‘‘My fa­ther worked at the New Zealand Her­ald and he was to­tally against me work­ing in a news­room. He wasn’t a re­porter but, ac­cord­ing to him, the ones he knew were all hard-drink­ing, smok­ing, bald­ing men who were not the types he wanted mix­ing with his daugh­ter.’’

Th­ese days Holt runs her own busi­ness pro­duc­ing Te Reo Sin­ga­long books for chil­dren from her base in Hamil­ton.

Maxted lives in West­ern Australia and works as a blog­ger and writer.

Pro­duc­ing a news­pa­per was a much more labour-in­ten­sive process in 1985 than it is to­day. In­house ad­ver­tise­ments were mostly line art, de­signed in pen and ink.

‘‘It was all hands-on us­ing scalpels and steel rulers,’’ Peter Kind­ley says. ‘‘There was a more skill in­volved.’’

Kind­ley has worked for Sub­ur­ban News­pa­pers for more than 30 years. He was the com­pany artist, has worked in sales and is now in the pro­duc­tion depart­ment.

‘‘I do miss do­ing that cre­ative

lot stuff. You were a jack of all trades. I used to take my own pho­tos. You weren’t sit­ting at a screen all day.’’

Peter Web­ber did his five-year ty­pog­ra­phy ap­pren­tice­ship at the Auck­land Star and has also worked for Sub­ur­ban News­pa­pers for more than 30 years. Just get­ting the sto­ries on to a page was quite a long process, he says.

Af­ter the writ­ing, tele­typ­ing and proof­read­ing process, it was time to get out the scalpel.

‘‘The col­umn would come out as a strip of bro­mide. Head­ings came out separately. That would go to the com­pos­ing room and they would trim the col­umns with a scalpel. You’d have a sub stand­ing be­side you in case it didn’t fit and you needed to cut the story. All the pieces were waxed and pasted in place on to a lay­out sheet.’’

Get­ting the pho­tos and ad­ver­tise­ments into the pa­per was just as in­volved.

Thanks to com­put­ers, th­ese days a news­pa­per page can be de­signed in min­utes and re­designed if need be, close to press time.

To­day the Auck­land City Har­bour News is dis­trib­uted to more than 21,000 house­holds from Water­view to Eden Ter­race. And th­ese days a story is cut with a key­stroke – not a scalpel.

Re­porter's sou­venirs: Sharon Holt still has the tele­gram she re­ceived, con­firm­ing her of­fer of em­ploy­ment at the Auck­land City Har­bour News, and her press pass.

The team: Page three of the first edi­tion in­tro­duces the found­ing staff.

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