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We asked: “What will the North Island Gazette look like in 20 years?”
May 4, 2034:
I awoke this beautiful morning to yet another stunning North Island sunrise. Twenty years have flown by since I graduated from high school, and I’m already looking forward to another beautiful North Island summer.
As I do every Thursday before work, I stopped by my favourite local café this morning to have a cup of coffee and read the North Island Gazette. I am one of the few who still turn the pages of the newspaper instead of swiping my finger across a screen, but nothing beats the feeling of paper between my fingers as I flip through the Gazette, just as I did when I was young.
The staff at the North Island Gazette office, along with local experts who write columns specific to their fields of expertise, continue to devote their time and effort to make our community’s only newspaper enjoyable for readers of all ages. The paper plays an important role in the North Island’s communication, presenting an opportunity for organizations to showcase all of the amazing things they are doing, businesses to publicize job openings, and for everyone to read about the constant development of our community.
The North island Gazette is Northern Vancouver Island’s main source of local news. It is our go-to resource for the latest stories, sports, community updates and classified advertisements.
One of the benefits of living in such a close-knit community is opening up the newspaper to see familiar faces inside. Seeing my friends and loved ones doing amazing things in the newspaper gives me a rush of excitement, the same way it has for as long as I can remember. I’m proud to say that the North Island Gazette continues to succeed at being the knot that ties our growing Tri-Port community together.
As the 21st century progresses, technology is changing the world around us. Innovations such as email, cell phones and social networking are replacing more traditional formats of communication. The same is true of newspapers, which are slowly shifting to online version as demographics change and technology become more and more ubiquitous. In 20 years’ time, the North Island Gazette will have finished its transition to digital formats, allowing subscribers to benefit from new features while still enjoying the local news and content it provides today.
The future Gazette could be quite different from both the print and online versions of today. For example, increased focus on the digital version could mean new features such as videos and recordings for the visually impaired. The shift to digital would also be conducive to a continuous flow of news, rather than one edition per week. This would allow the Gazette to report on issues as they happen, as well as issue announcements about important events such as school closures and tsunami warnings.
Furthermore, electronic versions would be more interactive, as readers could comment on articles and connect with each other through forum discussions. Forums could not only discuss articles, but could also offer a convenient way for readers to promote local events and fundraisers. These and other features could improve the way the Gazette delivers content to its subscribers.
In the new technological age, papers like the North Island Gazette will gradually change to become exclusively online. An online Gazette could include new features like video, and also allow subscribers to interact through comments and forums. Freed from the limitations of print, it could deliver news and updates as they happen. Regardless of the format, however, the Gazette will continue to deliver content North Island residents can relate and look forward to.
Flying cars, hovercrafts, teleportation — oh, and holographic phone technology!
When asked what the world will be like in twenty years, the sky is the limit because no one knows what the future has in store. So let’s narrow it down; let’s ask the question, “What will the North Island Gazette look like in twenty years?”
I imagine it will be a mixture of technology and the old-fashioned views of a newspaper. These will combine to make a rejuvenated, revolutionized newspaper.
I envision the Gazette printed on one piece of high-tech paper. The paper will be touchscreen, much like an iPad but far thinner and will only be used for newspaper purposes. Readers will be able to scroll through different news articles without the hassle of carrying around multiple pieces of paper.
The paper will have the ability to hold not only still photos but moving photography — in other words, video clips. While reading about a current event readers will be able to watch short video clips pertaining to what they are reading.
An interesting aspect of the paper will be its ability to house voice clips. With a simple touch of their hand, readers will be able to listen to a short audio recording about the article they are reading. Imagine listening to the cheering of the crowd from the Filomi Days or OrcaFest parades, or the sweet song of a rare bird passing through town; anything is possible. These audio clips will help pull people into the story, help them connect with it.
The changes to the Gazette will keep its readers interested over the years. Keeping up with the changing times will help the Gazette stay alive. Even though it will be different from the traditional form of a newspaper, it will still maintain its original values and purpose: to share news with our community.