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Panpa Bulletin : August 2011
Grow with Digital Solutions. The more efficient digital printing sys- tems become, the more challenging the finishing process will be. Muller Martini develops innovative digital printing solutions that yield new growth opportunities for the graphic arts industry – for perfect binding, hard- cover production and stitching. The growing market for shorter runs offers the ideal platform for digital printing. Muller Martini enjoys successful partner- ships with key digital printing system manufacturers and, as the leading spe- cialist for in-line finishing, Muller Martini also offers ideal solutions for many new applications thanks to its comprehensive product range. Muller Martini Australia Pty Limited Sydney +61 (0)2 8707 7300, Melbourne +61 412 749 761, Auckland +64 (0)21 790 600 Fax +61 (0)2 9773 1245, www.mullermartini.com/au, email@example.com SigmaLine: in one operation from the roll to the finished printing product OS2_SigmaLine_Panpa_1_2.indd 1 05.04.11 KW 14 14:24 Twilight zone EVE-EN-ING Pee-yo. That was a familiar cry in the windswept streets of Wellington for years, as delivery kids hawked papers to evening commuters and those sidetracked in bars. That tradition ended in 2002 when The Evening Post, the last evening met- ropolitan newspaper in Australasia, merged with the morning Dominion to form The Dominion Post. The Auckland Star and its Christch- urch counterpart had already disap- peared into paid daily publishing history, as had The Herald in Mel- bourne, The Daily Mirror in Sydney and a string of others, including more recently The Evening Standard in London. In the near-decade since the Wellington evening daily’s demise, several afternoon New Zealand newspapers have dipped their toes into morning deliveries by changing their Saturday publishing schedule: Fairfax’s Manawatu Standard in Palmerston North and Waikato Times in Hamilton, and APN News & Media’s neighbouring Bay of Plenty Times in Tauranga and Hawke’s Bay Today in Hastings. The decision by the Waikato Times to take the full plunge into morning delivery, with a weekday move to mornings from September, is a significant step. Others may well follow suit. Canterbury University journal- ism school head Jim Tully believes afternoon newspapers are a dying breed and may have disappeared in five years. Some already have such early deadlines – partly driven by the merging of print sites – that they are de facto morning papers in any case. The majority of the country’s re- gional papers – including The North- ern Advocate in Whangarei, The Daily Post in Rotorua, The Gisborne Herald, The Marlborough Express in Blenheim, the Wairarapa Times-Age in Master- ton, The Nelson Mail, Greymouth Star and Oamaru Mail – do publish dur- ing the day. Associate professor Jim Tully has led the Canterbury course for 25 years, but he was formerly an edito- rial executive in Auckland and was involved in the closure of the Star’s Saturday edition and its sister paper the 8 o’clock in favour of a Sunday edition (which later merged with the New Zealand Times to form the cur- rent Sunday Star-Times). Back then rush hour traffic and the introduction of daylight saving were the big factors affecting sales. Today the key drivers are more di- verse lifestyles and a rapidly chang- ing news environment. Breaking news is no longer the preserve of newspapers printed as late as mid-afternoon. But what has not changed, particu- larly in provincial areas, is the con- nection with the community and the depth of coverage of local affairs that ensures high readership penetration. Associate professor Tully says this is something his students com- ment on: “They are surprised at the warm feelings people have for their local paper.” Whether that translates from after- noons and evenings to the breakfast table is the question managers are wrestling with. The Waikato Times pulled its first edition deadline forward in the mid 1990s to hit lunchtime traffic and has been investigating the move to mornings for several years. Its circulation has held at around the current 41,000 for at least a decade. General manager Gerard Watt has called the move a sign of the times, with readers getting their daily feed of news in different ways, including online and smartphones. It will bring the Waikato newspaper into direct competition with the New Zealand Herald, the country’s largest circulating paper by a long shot. But the Auckland-based Herald has never threatened the Times on its home patch. The parochial Waikato Times, a major sponsor of the Chiefs and heartland rugby, along with many other community events, is wrapped around its community and that grip will not be easily broken, no matter the time of day. new Zealand’s few remaining evening papers could be gone within five years Opinion Tim Pankhurst Tim Pankhurst is NZ Newspaper Publishers’ Association chief executive and a former editor of the Waikato Times, The Evening Post and The Dominion Post www.panpa.org.au The PANPA Bulletin | AUGUST 2011 | 1 The Evening Post was a fixture on Wellington streets until 2002, when it merged with the morning Dominion to form The Dominion Post