When I took up my appointment as editor of The Natal Witness in late 1974, television had not yet come to South Africa, nor had desktop computers, the Internet, Facebook, Twitter or other social media. It was much easier to run a newspaper then than it is now.
Newspapers like the Witness used to play a far greater role in the lives of their communities than they do at present.
As South Africa’s oldest continuously published paper, the Witness occupied a distinctive niche in the print media, being the only truly independent voice in the English-language press. East London’s Daily Dispatch, while also privately-owned, was a member of SAAN, the big morning newspaper group, and thus had access to many more sources than we did.