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It is often said information is power and into the void comes powerlessness.
From tomorrow, most of us will be physically isolated from a community that sustains us. From tomorrow, we will rely even more on what other people say is happening in the outside world.
We will get our news from our media and from telephone and web chats with family and friends. With less social interaction than we are used to, we will have to trust what we are told is right.
Throughout our history as a newspaper, the Otago Daily Times has worked hard to earn your trust as the truly independent voice of the South, an honest publisher of news gathered on your behalf.
We have stood with and for our community during wars and epidemics, through economic recessions and through the deepest global depression. Knowledge is power, and it is our job to empower you in a crisis.
The Covid-19 pandemic is a domestic crisis on a scale unlike anything in living memory. Every day we learn of another unprecedented incident and response; every day we expect an uncertain future.
What certainty we have is dire. We know lives may be lost. We know jobs, savings and livelihoods will be lost. And we know whatever happens now will affect us for years to come.
Your ODT team knows it is not merely publishing the first draft of history. We are here to stay on top of this crisis and make sure you get the news you need to prepare for the future.
Newspapers provide an essential service at times of crisis. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed this yesterday when she said the media must continue as other institutions move to safety.
It is our intention to do so. Your newspaper and odt.co.nz reporters, visual journalists, editors and artists will continue to do their essential job and deliver news to you. We are as committed to weathering this crisis as you are.
Subscriber and advertiser support helps us do what we do, but there is no doubt these will be challenging times. You will see many changes in the type and range of news available as our region and country makes its way through the first weeks of this unprecedented national lockdown. Our content mix may change, too.
We will find new ways to entertain and inform you — isolation need not be as dull as we all expect — and we will double-down on our daily efforts to keep you connected with what matters in your community.
The Otago Daily Times is proud to have been an essential service for the South since 1861. It has always been our job to provide accurate, reliable and critical news. We know that is why you have been loyal to us over all these years and, through this crisis, we will work — loyally — for you.