Robert Edgar.
Robert Edgar. Scottie Simmonds BUN200212Robert

OPINION: Recalling newspaper days as digital era starts

TODAY could be somewhat of a sad day for some past employees of the NewsMail as this weekend's edition was the last hard copy of the paper.

This day has been coming for some time now and it has caused me to recall my long association with the paper.

It started on a chilly morning on Monday, July 6, 1964 at 8 am when I commenced work as an apprentice hand and machine compositor.

I can still remember walking through the back door leading into the press room where the Koenig Bauer rotary letterpress printing press stood.

This press a few hours earlier would have been roaring as that day's papers were rolling off delivery conveyer.

There was a strong smell of printers ink in the air and most involved in the production side of newspapers would remember that unique smell.

In the late 1960's my involvement with local soccer landed me a job writing about the game for the paper.

For a number of years I would write previews on upcoming games and then report on the results of the weekend matches.

Just over six years after I started at the NewsMail on Sunday, July 26, 1970 all the typesetting machines producing lead type fell silent.

The type for the next days paper was produced on photographic paper and that edition was printed on a brand new Goss Community offset press.

This new technology allowed massive improvements in what could be produced in the paper but was also the start of the road to where the paper is today.

In those days the production staff would have been somewhere between 40 and 50 while mow it has been zero for a number of years.

Improvements in the computer technology meant it became a lot easier to produce the paper with less and less staff.
I left the production side of the NewsMail to start my own business, but in the early 90's the then sports editor, Rod Rehbein asked me to write a Bargara golf column.

So some 30 years later every second Monday I check if someone has done something special or humorous on the course to put in the Tuesday's edition.

Over 13 years ago I created a bit of controversy when I used the column to attack board members proposing to sell off the iconic clubhouse site.

The then editor, Lucy Ardern suggested that it really was not the right thing to do and she challenged me to write a sport opinion article for the Saturday's edition.

Almost every Saturday since an article has appeared under the heading "From the Sidelines".