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Times change for the Norwich Evening News

PUBLISHED: 09:38 22 February 2011 | UPDATED: 11:26 23 February 2011

EEN front of the Bus down Hole Earlham Road 1988

EEN front of the Bus down Hole Earlham Road 1988

Archant

Change is nothing new for the Evening News, as anyone who remembers the days of the broadsheet Eastern Evening News will testify.

The latest change is to our print time, which will see us go to press just before midnight, rather than the current time of just after 8am.

You will still be able to rely on the Evening News to be packed to the brim with local news about what is going on in Norwich.

For the past decade, the majority of the Evening News has been written the day before publication anyway, because we know the way people want their news has changed.

People tend to look to our website at www.eveningnews24.co.uk for breaking news, and those stories are then developed and analysed further in the newspaper the following day.

When Eastern Counties Newspapers launched the Eastern Evening News back in 1882, the internet would have been unimaginable.

Queen Victoria was on the throne and Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone and Thomas Edison’s light bulb were at the cutting edge of technology.

Motor cars were in their infancy, The Wright Brothers had yet to make their historic first powered flight and the Titanic had yet to be constructed.

Norwich City Football Club was still 20 years away from being formed and the First World War was still more than 30 years away.

The inaugural edition of the Eastern Evening News for Norwich, Yarmouth, Lowestoft and the Eastern Counties, East Anglia’s first evening newspaper, saw the front page taken up with an advertisement for men’s suits at under £1 and the enticing offer of 36 gallons of pale ale for £3.

The circulation of that first issue was 3,176, but in 1910 the Eastern Evening News created a one-day circulation record of 65,000 when it reported the verdict in the trial of Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen, who was found guilty of murdering his wife Cora.

It wasn’t until 1922 that news and banner headlines moved to the front page and it was 1964 before the first colour appeared – in an advertisement for soap.

The Eastern Evening News was seen as the paper for busy city people who wanted something that would inform and entertain them, but would also be a convenient size to read on their way home from work.

That led to a radical change in 1940, when the newspaper switched from broadsheet to a tabloid and gossip and comment columns became increasingly popular.

One, called Over The Tea Table, had started in 1928 and ran until 1967. It then became Whiffler’s City which then became the Derek James page which you can still read in the Evening News today, alongside the likes of Stacia Briggs, David Powles and Ian Gibson.

At the end of December 1969, the newspaper went back to being a broadsheet and remained so until 1985 when, to the delight of paperboys and girls across the city, it reverted to being a tabloid.

For more than a century, the Evening News has always been there for key moments in the city, be it the awful bombing Norwich endured during the Second World War, the floods of 1953 or the gales of 1987.

We also brought you the iconic image of the double-decker bus which plunged into a hole in Earlham Road in 1986, while one of the biggest stories of the 1990s was the blaze which ripped through Norwich’s library in Bethel Street.

We’ve also shown you the changing face of Norwich, tracing the creation of Castle Mall and Chapelfield shopping centres, two of the biggest engineering projects the city has seen.

More recently, we have campaigned to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos, to prevent libraries and day centres from closing, to raise money for the excellent Big C charity, to prevent an incinerator being built in Costessey and to urge people to use their local pubs or lose them.

But, no matter how hard our news journalists try, for some, the back page or www.pinkun.com is still their first port of call.

That’s where the latest Norwich City news from Carrow Road can be found and, over the years, our sports reporters have shared the same highs and lows as any other supporter of the Canaries.

Coverage of Norwich City’s 1959 giant-killing cup run, the 1985 Milk Cup success, the remarkable European adventure in 1993/94 and promotions in 2004 and 2010 will live long in the memories of readers.

But we also shared the heartache of relegations, FA Cup semi-final defeats and the failure to secure promotion through the play-offs in 2002.

One of the biggest changes to what the Evening News does has come because of 24-hour rolling television news and the rise of the internet.

Those innovations mean people no longer wait until the late afternoon or early evening to get their news, they want it as soon as it happens.

And because of the internet, we can now get the best of local news – what’s happening in and around Norwich – to people as soon as it happens, which is what we do on our website at www.eveningnews24.co.uk

The newspaper still carries those stories, but in print we have the opportunity to develop them. Our team of reporters, with their local knowledge, can really get behind the news to analyse what it means for people in the city.

The reality is that the economy is still suffering and we need to save money. Printing earlier and being out on the streets earlier helps us do that – while you get the newspaper you want sooner.

We believe people like the Evening News because of what’s in it, not what time of day it’s printed. It is the biggest and best source of Norwich news, information and sport in the city and we plan to keep it that way – whether it’s through a newspaper which drops through your door or via your mobile phone.

Tomorrow we will explain more about the economic factors fuelling the change, what newsagents think of it and how the rise of the internet has transformed the way people get their news.

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