Kapi-Mana News : April 23rd 2013
7 KAPI-MANA NEWS, APRIL 23, 2013 FEATURE 5323270AA FINE FOODS & QUALITY MEATS www.prestonsmasterbutchers.co.nz HARBOURSIDE; 16 PARUMOANA ST, PORIRUA 04 237 7313 MINCE BEEF $6.99 kg Sign up at the checkout - it only takes a minute $5.99 kg SPECIALS END 28/04/2013 CLUB CARD MEMBERS PAY ONLY So long and thanks for all the scoops After more than nine years in the hot seat and almost 13 in the Kapi-Mana newsroom, editor MATTHEW DALLAS bids Porirua goodbye. MY BACK PAGES Papers worked on: 665 Editions as editor: 496 First story: Closure of Peter & James menswear, August 17, 1999 Number of films reviewed: About 500. Favourite film reviewed: The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2004) Worst film reviewed: Sucker Punch (2011) So long: Outgoing Kapi-Mana News editor Matthew Dallas. Leading the paper's editorial team and being part of the Porirua fabric has been a privilege. It's funny how things play out. Back in late 1998, having been passed over by the Wel- lington Polytechnic journalism programme, I found myself in Porirua, attending an interview for the Whitireia course. As I looked around the campus, which more closely resembled a Christian holiday camp than a learning institute back then, I wondered: What the hell am I doing here? Had some Dickensian ghost from the future dropped by and told me I was about to commence a rewarding, 13-year relationship with the city of Porirua and its news publication of choice, I would have laughed my way back to Wellington. But while at Whitireia I gained work experience at Kapi-Mana News, which led to a reporter's gig in July, 2000, and the editorship in late 2003. Before I knew it I was married to a Paremata girl, paying a mortgage in Whitby and pacing nervously around the Kenepuru Hospital maternity suite. Porirua has been my home and Kapi-Mana News my family. To bid farewell to both is bittersweet and pretty surreal. I have met many wonderful peo- ple from this community over the years, and it has been a privilege to tell their stories and share their views. Big issues have taken their turn dominating our front pages, from quarry trucks and land deals to near-mythical roading projects and now, regional governance reform. I am proud Kapi-Mana News has been a vibrant forum for, and facilitator of, public debate. The paper's established relationship with readers has made my job easier. I want to thank every person who has wal- ked in our door, picked up the phone or flicked me an email with a suggestion, observation or eye- witness account. Not every news tip or sub- mission turns into a story, but I've never taken our keen connection with readers for granted -- though folks who were irked by our Whitby name-change' ruse on April Fools Day, 2008, may beg to differ. Good ol' Hangarau' eh? What a commotion. No regrets, but maybe the byline should have read Tom Foolary' or Geta Funnybone'. I always wanted Kapi-Mana News to have a more pronounced personality. Bylines weren't just for page one anymore, and if there was an opportunity to get a reporter's mug and attitude into a playful feature, it was encour- aged. And yes, I gratified my film geek tendencies by making myself the movie reviewer. Is that auto- cratic self-indulgence? Gun layout-sub Natalie Bould -- who had a far better head for design than me -- was given free reign, and with the economy hum- ming in the mid-noughties, paging increased and we were able to open up' our early pages to more news and bigger photos. The eradication of black/white pages also made a huge difference to the look and feel of the paper. In my time here the technologi- cal changes have been immense and ceaseless: Film to digital cameras, fax to email, internet access, our own website, social media, and a host of internal IT convulsions. Of course, our most crucial function hasn't changed; reporting news in an engaging way. I must admit, I take satisfaction every time someone rings up to say their paper hasn't been delivered on time. I'm not happy that they didn't get their Kapi-Mana, but I'm happy that they noticed its absence. As a new adventure beckons in the Manawatu, what I'll take with me aren't the memories of page one pot-boilers or political stou- shes -- that's yesterday's news. It will be the everyday people and crazy characters I've met, and the stellar crew I've worked with. The role of an editor consists largely of making decisions; lots of little decisions. Which photo? Which story? What angle? This page? Cut it? Fix it? Rewrite? But there's big decisions too, and none of mine have been more important or successful than recruitment. Whether it be by good judge- ment or good luck, I've been bles- sed by the quality of reporters I've employed over the years; Kris Dando, Andrea O'Neil, Rebecca Stevenson, Kate Barker (nee Bleasdale) and Esther Lauaki. To them, Moana Wyatt and Natalie Bould -- my original crew and Whitireia classmates -- thanks for all the hard work and making me look good. Happy trails Porirua and Tawa. Matthew Dallas has taken up a deputy editor position at the Manawatu Standard. Kris Dando is acting editor of Kapi-Mana News.
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