Serving the reader in a declining print environment

2019-01-30 06:00

IT is most distressing to read editor Yves Vanderhaeghen’s column in The Witness on January 16, announcing that more staff cuts are imminent.

For some years, many of us have been aware of the decline of print media, but not to be able to open The Witness early each morning would indeed be a great loss. This newspaper, first published on February 27, 1846, by David Dale Buchanan, founding editor and proprietor, has become an iconic part of Pietermaritzburg. Buchanan saw himself as a fearless crusader for the truth — views which often put him in opposition to governing authorities. These noble ideals have largely been maintained for 173 years by other notable editors such as Richard Steyn (1974-1990), John Conyngham (1994- 2013), and Angela­ Quintal (2011-2013), who guided The Witness in continuing to serve the public by providing comprehensive and unbiased local and international news, even during the dark days of apartheid.

After some difficult years, during 2018 The Witness underwent a noticeable and welcome resurgence under the editorship of Vanderhaeghen, continuing to expose and challenge the gross inadequacies of many local officials and other miscreants, as well as providing much excellent comment on political and social issues. It would be tragic if this valuable daily service is denied us.

So, come on readers, pay your subscriptions, and play your part in keeping this venerable newspaper alive!

MARY KLEINENBERG

ALLEYN DIESEL

Blackridge

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