THE printed newspaper still has its place.
That’s the view of subscribers to The Independent on Saturday who joined regional editor Mazwi Xaba and editor Zoubair Ayoob for a frank chat about newspapers, the publication and the world at a lunch at Sofra Istanbul in Durban’s Florida Road.
Tara Jeena of Morningside came up with the interesting point that while digital devices might be the modern way, they make one vulnerable to criminals.
A newspaper would not.
“A paper is safer in the park. No one will steal it like they would steal a cellphone,” she said.
Rabia Moosa has a strategy when it comes to reading The Independent on Saturday. She does so slowly, keeping it for a week and taking in an article a day.
“That way it has a lasting impact as I read through the different sections – gardening, health, travel.”
Moosa had an early introduction to weekend newspapers, waking up early in the morning to sell them at her parents’ general dealer in Nottingham Road. Now retired from the eThekweni Municipality and having studied library and information science, she uses newspaper articles to help students with their reading.
Key to getting them into soaking up the written word is being able to present articles around interesting and relevant topics, she said.
She suggested more family content.
“And continuation,” added Judy Milligan, suggesting write-ups that appeared in a series.
Her friend, Jan Chemaly, said she found The Independent on Saturday’s lighter approach “a relief from murders, robberies and what-nots”.
Bill Ellens, an architect, said the advantage a newspaper had over a computer “is that with a computer you need to know exactly what you’re looking for.
“With a paper you can quickly choose what you want to read.”
He said that while he might read only 50% of 90%of the paper, he would at least get some exposure to the topics.
What he would like to read more of, though, was “technical stuff”, such as diagrams to clearly explain issues such as Eskom’s problems.
The same could apply to the problems in eThekwini’s sewage system, something Ellens has to live with as a yachtsman having to launch his vessel in sewage.
Then there’s the wealth of “stuff happening out there” in the informal sector where innovative start-up projects are driving entrepreneurship in the back of beyond, which he also feels warrants more coverage.
“And there’s also the rest of Africa,” he said, suggesting a weekly column about what’s new in Africa, especially in the IT world.
The Independent on Saturday