The great Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu, and reputed founder of Taoism, is quoted to have said, “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
Today is one in a series of spontaneous changes for the OBSERVER Media Group of Companies as it marks the final day that The Daily Observer newspaper will be available in printed form. After almost a quarter century of printing six-days per week, in service of the people, the ‘little newspaper that could’ is evolving. We have accepted the realities of the changing media landscape and the shift to a digital, paperless society. We understand, like the many other small media companies that face the harsh economic realities of survival in tough economic and political times, that we must not resist the call to evolve.
While our plan for change was set to follow a different timeline, a spontaneous change in our tenancy status has caused us to advance the timing of our all-digital transition. That change refers to the unexpected receipt of an eviction notice from our landlord, Stanford Development Company Ltd. (in Liquidation). They want us out, so we shall comply. A few months here or there makes little difference to the impact of this blow. The damage is already done.
A move for Observer is not an easy thing. We have moved just twice in our lifetime; once from our original location at Lower Fort Road to Coolidge Industrial Park and a second time to our current location at the Airport. We thought that we had found a forever home when we moved here. Winston Derrick even named the location the Samuel ‘Fergie’ Derrick Media Centre in memory of his brother and co-founder of the Observer. There were big plans for a school of journalism, OBSERVER Television and even OBSERVER Caribbean, however, those are not to be; at least, not anytime soon. The vision was never met with political support because a strong independent media is not something our small-minded politicians want.
Right now, our focus is on moving forward and allowing life to lead us to our destiny. That has always been the Observer way. Whenever faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges, Fergie always said, “Whatever grand plan the Lord has for us will unfold and become our reality. All we need is faith.” We continue to be guided by the wise words of Winston and Fergie as we face a new set of militating circumstances.
We expect a bumpy ride, and we know that we will falter along the way, but the key to survival is to always get back up, to dust-off the disappointments and to keep pressing forward. That, after all, is the only way to survive. It is not easy, but we get our strength from you – our loyal readers and listeners. You have made the Observer more than a newspaper or radio station, you have made it a way a life. Observer is the ‘Voice of the People.’ It is the voice of the frustrated, the oppressed, the happy and the sad … it is your voice and we will do all in our power to keep it strong.
Human beings are not in love with change, we prefer the comfort of routine, but ‘the only constant in life is change’ and it should not be feared. We must not allow the fear of change to paralyse us and keep us from experiencing something new. That is the philosophy to which we adhere because it is in our DNA … it is one of the key philosophies on which Observer was born. Our founders, Fergie and Winston embraced changed as it came their way, and though it came with some pain, at times, things always seemed to work out.
Today, we embrace the change brought about by a spontaneous event (i.e. eviction) in our lives. There is a bit of nostalgic sadness as we say goodbye to the print edition, but there is also a great deal of excitement as we plunge into the all-digital, multimedia world that expands our reach and improves our offerings to our advertisers, while opening avenues to better the content we provide to you.
From this date forward, The Daily OBSERVER will be available as a digital publication only. We invite you to visit antiguaobserver.com to sign-up for your copy or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please encourage your family and friends to do the same. All that is required is an email address to receive your complimentary copy. We would like to thank you for support of The Daily OBSERVER and free media in Antigua and Barbuda over the years, and we hope that you will continue on this fantastic journey with us, as we continue to educate the people and persist in our mission to shine light in every dark corner.
We invite you to visit www.antiguaobserver.com and give us your feedback on our opinions.