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Diss talking newspaper goes digital

PUBLISHED: 12:27 08 July 2010 | UPDATED: 20:24 01 August 2010

Adam Gretton

A south Norfolk talking newspaper is set to move into the 21st century this month.

Listeners of Waveney Words, the Diss-based talking newspaper for blind and partially sighted people, will receive their last cassette recorded programme of local news this week.

A south Norfolk talking newspaper is set to move into the 21st century this month.

Listeners of Waveney Words, the Diss-based talking newspaper for blind and partially sighted people, will receive their last cassette recorded programme of local news this week.

Instead, the editions to be delivered from July 23 will be arriving on a computer memory stick.

The change marks an end of an era for the newspaper, which records from the Diss Mercury office in Mere Street, which has been publishing its fortnightly news roundup since 1968.

The technicians, readers and editors have been getting to grips with the digital technology to improve the quality of the service and received a donation from Diss Rotary Club to help make the conversion.

The newspaper also received support from the Norfolk Community Foundation and Lovewell Blake of Norwich to buy the memory sticks for its 70 listeners. Listeners are also being distributed a small player called a boombox, which plays the memory stick with blind-friendly controls.

Waveney Words secretary Trevor Freeborn said the new technology had improved the sound quality and would last longer than cassettes.

“We could still buy new cassettes, we used to replace them every year, but the cost of maintaining the recording, and especially, the copying machines was becoming frightening.”

“You never know, the cassettes might become collectors' items, we're happy for our listeners to keep them; we are looking to the future and we're even looking at publishing the programmes on the internet,” he said.

Anyone who knows someone who would benefit from receiving Waveney Words should contact Mr Freeborn on 01379 608774.


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