General Non-Fiction posted August 6, 2022

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Enjoying my local newspaper.

Views of the News

by LisaMay

New Zealand has four main daily newspapers — The New Zealand Herald (Auckland), The Dominion (Wellington), The Press (Christchurch), and the Otago Daily Times (Dunedin).

As a resident of Dunedin for the past 40 years, I have a high regard for the independently-owned Otago Daily Times. It was founded in gold rush days, in 1861, making it the newspaper with the longest history of daily publication in New Zealand. The ODT has established a reputation for accuracy and delivers comprehensive coverage and advocacy for regional causes, while also bringing international news to its readers. In these days of conflicting information and a lessening of journalistic integrity, it is becoming harder to trust our news sources, but, in addition to wider reading, I feel well-informed by my morning habit of reading the Otago Daily Times. Its focus on quality is reflected in its motto “Optima Durant” — “Quality Endures”.

With my interest in visual art, I find its high standard of photography particularly appealing. As a participant in sports activities, it is a source of pride that in a recent survey my local newspaper has been assessed  to have the highest percentage of coverage for women’s sport of the NZ national daily newspapers. I also usually enjoy the biting wit and skilful drawing of the topical political cartoons.

What we read can have a big impact on our frame of mind. Doom and gloom, with natural as well as man-made disasters, seem to be the order of the day, dominating our news sources. However, the Otago Daily Times often balances front page dramas with a local feel-good story. Today’s was wonderful — it brought a smile of delight:

A young concert-goer was given a big surprise and a great opportunity at a Rock Tenors show on opening night when his guitar tutor, who was performing in the backing band, pulled him out of the audience and invited him to play with the band in the Guns n’ Roses hit, ‘Live and Let Die’ (originally performed by Wings). At only his third time playing before a live audience, 13-year-old Eddie shredded the guitar solos and the audience showed their appreciation.

“They were standing up, shouting my name — Eddie, Eddie, Eddie. It was really cool!”

“It was a very exciting moment and one that won the audience over completely and became the highlight of opening night,’’ the show’s producer said. “It’s been a great experience for him and one he will never forget.”

Eddie said it had inspired him to keep practising. After the concert, when asked if he wanted to become a professional musician and have all the sex, drugs and alcohol of a hardened rock guitarist on the road, he said: "No, I think I’ll be a nice guitarist. I don’t want to disappoint my mum.’’


Photo of Eddie by Stephen Jaquiery, Otago Daily Times.

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