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Editorial April 17th 2020

Welcome to this week’s editorial, These are indeed new days, and at each turn we are all discovering the ‘New Normal’. To date most of us are adapting, and appearing reasonably resilient. Shopping now has an order to it, social distancing is becoming second nature, most of us are Zooming, Facetiming or Skyping and so many of the community, where able, are working from home including the hundreds of students who are adapting to an entirely new way to learn and to a demand for self commitment and dedication. Across the region we are also adapting to the continued short supplies of dunny paper and other isolation essentials. Surprisingly there has not been a run on bottle-shops however it is understood that demand has increased across the region and the country. We wake each day in much the same way as if it was Ground Hog Day, a movie where the principle character is stuck in a groove to relive the same day for ten years. Is it Wednesday, Friday or AnotherDay? And each day we turn to the news to learn of the incredible impact the Covid-19 virus has had on the planet, then happy to learn that locally there has been no increases in cases. For many, we reach for our second cup of coffee, our device of preference and a second round of toast as we make our way through our news feed. Scrolling through social media, chasing down hyperlinks, laughing aloud at the latest TicTok dance routines to put out the garbage. The entire world is there, accessible on our screen. It is all timely, it is NOW, mostly accurate, generally free; and it is just how we want our news delivered. But what of the older members of the community who have not embraced technology, unable to Like, Follow, Share, Retweet, Copy and Paste, Forward or even comment. There is an entire world that they are missing out on. A world of entertainment, social interaction and most importantly passive information. Yes, they might have their radio for the day to day and their Free to Air TV at night but theirs is a world that is controlled by radio schedules and TV timetables. In the Eurobodalla these older folk are the ones also reliant on the newspaper. To not have a newspaper removes them from the warp and weft of their community. Announcements this week by ACM, the owners of the Bay Post, Moruya News, The Independent and Moruya Examiner reveal that the days of hard copy newspapers are nearly over. Advertisers have discovered the internet and radio. The once lucrative monopoly of advertising has left traditional news papers in financial tatters. But still they persist. And Why? So that our older community can buy a paper on a Wednesday or Friday that might tell them what happened several days ago. This is likely to change though. And quickly, as the oldies finally embrace a smart phone, a tablet or computer to access family and friends. It won’t take much of a step for them to realise that they can also access the news, and more news than anyone might ever squeeze into a scant paper focused more on advertising that on content. The days of printed papers are well and truly numbered. Until next … Lei

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