Today we want to assure you, our loyal readers, whether you are seeing this message in print, online, or on your smartphone, that The Canberra Times is more committed than ever to setting the news agenda in the national capital.
After a week in which media has dominated the headlines, Canberrans are eager to know how changes at Fairfax Media will affect the newspaper that has served their city with news and advertising for more than 80 years.
As the significant changes announced by Fairfax this week have demonstrated, these are difficult times for many media companies. It is necessary to take decisive action as we grow beyond our proud print heritage to an exciting digital future. The Canberra Times is ready to meet the challenge.
Our audience has never been bigger. Our brand is trusted and strong. Our journalists are among the best in the country.
Each month, more than a million unique visitors come to our website, according to Google Analytics. This makes it the most popular news destination in the ACT. Canberra Times content is being read and enjoyed throughout the territory, the nation, and the world, and soon an iPad application will give readers yet another way to access our journalism and advertising.
The results of a review of Fairfax's metropolitan newsrooms - including The Canberra Times, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age - will be released for staff discussion next week. The work will further strengthen The Canberra Times by giving it access to even more quality, independent journalism.
The review has involved consultation with hundreds of journalists in five cities, including Canberra, and will help us to better serve our growing digital audiences as they consume our news and other content throughout the day.
But the future will not be free of difficult decisions.
Fairfax, which publishes The Canberra Times, said on Monday that 1900 people would be leaving the business over the next three years, two major print sites would be closed by the middle of 2014, and flagship metropolitan newspapers The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age would be redesigned in a compact format.
In the weeks and months ahead some staff will be leaving The Canberra Times. We have not yet determined how many people will be affected but we will of course handle this with sensitivity and transparency.
In the coming months we will also assess whether our newspaper should change from its broadsheet format to a compact size. An important part of that process will be to ask readers for their views.
Regardless of this decision, our Fyshwick printing plant will continue to produce The Canberra Times.
Some speculation this week has centred on the future of our bureau at Federal Parliament. No decision has been made on this office but make no mistake: The Canberra Times remains committed to the high standard of national political coverage that this city demands. This includes having journalists working from Parliament House.
As we restructure our newsroom we will be considering the most effective ways of deploying our journalists to ensure we continue to deliver the news that affects Canberrans.
For more than 80 years The Canberra Times has been true to its motto: To serve the national city and through it the nation. Our dedication to this mission remains undiminished.
Ken Nichols, General Manager
Rod Quinn, Editor