Opin­ion Un­der­stand­ing the ‘lit­tle’ Times

The Southland Times - - Front Page -

Noth­ing and no one is im­mune to change. And, that is cer­tainly the case with The South­land Times.

It’s been a few weeks now since we’ve re­launched in a com­pact for­mat (Mon­day to Fri­day), and truth be told the re­ac­tion has been quite mixed.

With­out a doubt, there’s been some lovely feed­back, and on the other side a few brick­bats about read­ers not be­ing able to find things that they love like the daily quiz and scrip­ture.

There have been re­quests to ad­just the size of the font for funeral notices to make it eas­ier to read and to get the alu­minum prices and ship­ping back in.

We’re still in the process of tweak­ing for­mats slightly and read­just­ing some content.

But isn’t that part of life, con­tin­u­ally ad­just­ing?

You think life is go­ing along ok un­til some­thing hap­pens to throw the wheels off the cart.

The driv­ing force for the change in me­dia and the changes to The South­land Times has come from tech­nol­ogy.

It’s also the rea­son to close the com­mu­nity divi­sion of our news­pa­pers in the south in­clud­ing Newslink, The Eye, Mir­ror and the Otago South­land Farmer. We are chang­ing the way we do busi­ness, and we’re pre­par­ing for the fu­ture.

There’s no es­cap­ing the fact that these are sig­nif­i­cant changes.

We are liv­ing differently now than what we used to. I’ve spo­ken to many read­ers, who quite rightly say, they have lived through years of change, so in essence ‘‘what’s so dif­fer­ent now?’’

The dif­fer­ence is the speed of tech­nol­ogy.

Trend ex­perts are pre­dict­ing the big­gest dis­rup­tion to come within the next five years.

To drive this change home, here’s an ex­am­ple. Par­ents to­day when talk­ing to their chil­dren about ca­reers, are not so much hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion about in­dus­tries to get into, but rather pos­ing the ques­tion ‘‘will that job ex­ist in the fu­ture?’’

The one thing the Times can do is help peo­ple nav­i­gate this change in South­land. If you be­long to a com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tion and want more in­for­ma­tion about how we use tech­nol­ogy or not sure how to use so­cial me­dia to your best ad­van­tage, please get in touch.

Each Satur­day in­stead of the usual op-ed piece, I will bring up­dates of how peo­ple are us­ing tech­nol­ogy in the south, pro­vide use­ful links and start shar­ing more about the changes we’ve been through, and what pos­si­bly might come next.

Have a good week­end.

Natasha Hol­land, South­ern re­gion ed­i­tor

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