There are a few disadvantages to life in the country, one of which is that our newspapers are delivered with the mail which doesn’t arrive until anywhere from 1ish to after 3. By this time we’ve usually caught up with national, international and big regional and local stories from radio, TV or the net.
I’d suggested to the previous editor that because of this rural subscribers ought to be able to get free, or heavily subsidised access to the digital edition but was told that would down-grade the product for other subscribers.
I happened to be speaking with ODT political editor Dene McKenzie a few weeks ago and said because of that we were thinking of stopping the paper and subscribing to the digital edition instead. He told me to wait because a new editor, Murray Kirkness, had a different view and the paper was going to re-launch itself on-line. It has and introduces itself here.
The digital revolution has just taken another turn for Otago Daily Times readers with the launch today of www.odt.co.nz, an open and free source of local, national, international and sports news.
We’ll update constantly throughout the day, bringing you the latest national and local news as well as features from throughout our region, New Zealand and the world.
And, of course, it’s all about you. We have designed the site for you, our readers. Now you can interact with the ODT in many exciting and different ways. So, let’s have a conversation at www.odt.co.nz
You’ll be able to comment on stories, vote in polls, send us your photographs, create your own news stories.
Your opinions will help shape the news as never before.
Don’t be scared to contact us. We want both your feedback and your contributions _ stories, photos, events – and we now have the cyberspace to publish what we receive.
The ODT is rightly known for the depth of our local coverage, and we’ll carry that even further online.
Not only will we replicate online the hyper-local stories found in the Regions section of the print edition, but the site takes this further with a unique Your Town section.
Most of the towns in our area get their own home-page, complete with news stories, photographs, events, photo slideshows and weather.
The Southland Times competes with the ODT in Central Otago and further south but there is only one other local paper in the region The Oamaru Mail (owned by APN). It used to be an afternoon paper but is now printed in Ashburton in the morning so the only reason for getting it rather than the ODT has been for the parish-pump stories which will now be on line.
We have also taken into account the importance of tertiary students to the region by creating an On Campus section, complete with news, photo slideshows, blogs and a gig guide.
In spite of giving away subscriptions at orientation students most students don’t read papers, but may use the on-line version more.
Elsewhere on the site, our sport coverage will be as comprehensive as ever, ranging from grassroots local games to the most up-to-date news and results from around the globe.
For world news we have signed a partnership with international news giant Associated Press to deliver the latest news and photographs from throughout the world. Wherever news happens, AP is there, and we will be there with them.
We aim to provide depth as well as breadth. Make sure to check out our Opinion and Business section for independent thought and analysis.
Our bloggers will provide a slightly different flavour of opinion, but will certainly be entertaining.