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Panpa Bulletin : August 2011
www.panpa.org.au PDF DATA IN... PUBLICATIONS ON DEMAND Print high quality newspapers digitally with Screen’s Truepress Jet 520 presses. Perfect for remote site printing, versioning, zoning, personalisation and short run niche titles. Speeds from 64 to 220 meters-per-minute. www.fujifilm.com.au SCREEN Australia and FUJIFILM Graphic Systems your digital newsprint specialists Peter Scott 0431 611 897 firstname.lastname@example.org Warren Hinder (AUS) 0405 311 603 email@example.com Graham Blackall (NZ) 021 335 986 firstname.lastname@example.org .nz www.screen.co.jp/520zz For technical specifications and samples contact BEING a local newspaper means so much more than delivering journal- ism and advertising. In the small New Zealand town of Ashburton, colleagues have worked with the local community to find housing for evacuees of the Christchurch earthquake. Even today, some of the families who benefited from the newspaper’s effort to provide accommodation information are still unable to return to their homes. As an independent newspaper, the Ashburton Guardian has also dem- onstrated a big industry heart. The Guardian made its own print- ing press available to the Star chain of local Christchurch newspapers, which were hit hard by the February 22 quake. The Star Canterbury, owned by APN News & Media, made the call to publish a daily newspaper during the initial period of the crisis, but they had nowhere to print as their facility had been badly damaged and was out of commission. Until the Guardian offered assistance. The Ashburton Guardian’s centre, Guardian Print, had already been in talks to take on The Star’s printing, so the site was all that kept The Star on the streets on the day the quake hit. Guardian editor Peter O’Neill viv- idly remembers that day – but in an unusual way. His office has a view onto the main street, which suddenly became choked. “It was wall-to-wall cars,” he re- calls. For close to three days, the traffic kept coming. Carloads of residents from nearby Christchurch, 80km to the north-east, were leaving their beleaguered city in the aftermath of the 6.4 -magnitude earthquake. “It started off with just individu- als and families in cars. Then you noticed that cars were packed with stuff, then there were the cars with trailers,” he recounts. “We felt sharp jolts here but couldn’t believe how bad it was in Christchurch once we started watch- ing the reports on TV,” says Mr O’Neill. It was a baptism by fire for the then-new editor, as he had moved from the Timaru Herald a month earlier. “We sent a reporter and photogra- pher to Christchurch,” he says, “and it was full-on [coverage] for about a week. We filled the first half of the paper – page after page – with earth- quake stories.” In the days and weeks after the quake, the 131-year-old broadsheet was there – for the 29,000-strong population of Ashburton but also for the wider Canterbury community encompassing Rakaia, Hinds and Methven. Mr O’Neill managed all this de- spite the small size of his workforce. “We have 6.5 reporters, 2.5 photog- raphers and 3.5 sub-editors,” he says. The team normally focuses on local news issues, sports stories, real estate and events, and provides an outlet for the newsletter of Ashbur- ton College. The paper also features monthly magazine inserts for the nearby rural communities with Guardian Farming, Dairy Focus and the lifestyle and well- being feature, You Magazine. On this occasion, the independent daily, owned by the Bell family, was a lifeline for a community in need. “We were instrumental in putting together a list of homes where peo- ple could stay short-term,” says Mr O’Neill. “We were the collection point for that database, which we then handed on to civil defence. “We were certainly a hub of infor- mation for people. For a couple of weeks after the earthquake, we ran important phone numbers: who to ring for emergency housing and fi- nancial assistance, and where people could donate money.” Even as the Canterbury region was being rocked by aftershocks, an- other shock hit. This time, it was felt by all newspaper publishers around New Zealand. In April this year, it emerged the New Zealand Press Association, the country’s national wire service which supplied news to many small publishers including the Ashburton Guardian, is due to close at the end of August. But Mr O’Neill is confident re- placement service APNZ will pro- vide a steady base for his paper. With Mr O’Neill at the helm, the future looks bright for the Ashburton Guardian, and hopes to attract a younger audience. “We’re looking forward to the development of the website to have a better link between the print and online editions,” Mr O’Neill says. “It offers a lot more scope of what we can do, and an opportunity to ap- peal to a younger readership. “We have got to be smart about how we do that.” Ashburton Guardian news team (from left) Amanda Durry, Sue Newman, Peter O’Neill, Jonathan Leask, Lance Isbister and Linda Clarke The rescuers 1 | AUGUST 2011 | The PANPA Bulletin MEMBER PRofilE local paper helps find homes for quake evacuees Trevor Allen NPA