Talking newspaper joins the digital age

Galloway Talking Newspaper (GTN) is joining the digital age.

The charitable organisation is switching from using cassette tapes of its recordings to using USB memory sticks.

GTN has also celebrated the issue of the 1000th talking newspaper.

Arrangements were made with all existing listeners to ensure that they would all have the opportunity to have an appropriate digital player available when the new medium was introduced. While most listeners acquired a player from GTN, some subscribers use a computer or other audio device.

The new arrangements result from an initial proposal early in 2012 to change to use of CDs. Subsequent consultation with listeners was in favour, and expert technical advice showed overwhelming reasons to move to the more up-to-date device without moving parts.

While the Talking Newspaper Association for the Blind is a charity depending on donations from supporters and listeners, the costs involved in the changeover have been met thanks to the generous support received from Specsavers and the local branch of Rotary. The regular support received from Stair Estates, and about 40 volunteers giving their time to act as technicians, editors and readers must also be acknowledged.

The changeover has depended greatly both on the volunteers willing to master new skills operating the new technology involved, and those who visited listeners throughout the region demonstrating the improved system.

The reaction to the first few recordings has confirmed that they are of improved quality, and operating the new players is much easier than with tapes.

Recordings of extracts of local news will continue to be distributed weekly, thanks to permission being granted by the The Galloway Gazette, while magazine style recordings will also continue in most months.

Recordings are issued free of cost to eligible visually or physically impaired listeners.

Inquiries for additional information to pass to potential new listeners are always welcome. Contact can be made through a GP surgery, clinic, or through Sensory Services on 01387 253 927.

Further information can be obtained by phoning 01776 830315 or 01776 702241.