Change is coming to your Observer...

Editor Colin Channon with the present-day Observer ' and the new compact version
Editor Colin Channon with the present-day Observer ' and the new compact version

We asked, you answered... and we listened. And next month will see one of the biggest changes in the Observer since it was launched more than a century ago.

We asked if you wanted any changes to the Observer. Is it too big? Not enough pages? Too many pages? Not covering the kind of stories you wanted to read?

You answered in your hundreds.

And the hottest topic was the size of the paper.

We produced a compact version of the Observer to test the water, to see if you’d really liked a smaller version of your favourite weekly newspaper.

And the response was unequivocal. You wanted the smaller paper.

And I’m delighted to announce that, on Thursday, October 4, the Observer will be a new, compact size. And it will be a better, brighter paper all round.

We’re not just changing the size of the Observer. We are going to take the opportunity to freshen up the content, bringing in more features, more news and more sport.

Some things won’t be changing. We won’t change our comprehensive coverage of local news – our team of reporters will continue to be out and about and bringing you unrivalled, in-depth reports from your area.

Our sports coverage will continue to be unsurpassed. There will just be more of it.

Richard Williamson will still write his popular column.

We’ll still have lifestyle features.

And the Guide will continue to be printed every week, although it will have a new look and will be contained in the main body of the Observer, so it doesn’t fall out when you open the newspaper.

Our Property section will continue in its present broadsheet format, as that’s what estate agents and readers have asked for – you like being able to see bigger, better pictures of homes from around the area, and that won’t change.

We’ll still be YOUR Observer.

And that’s not all. We’ll be bringing you new features – and we want YOU to get involved.

Features such as:

• It’s Your Shout – every week, a reader will be invited to rant about something which really gets under their skin. If you’d like a go at being a columnist for a week and speaking out, get in touch – email the address below, or write to us.

• Animal Magic – a page dedicated to you and your pets, including advice from a vet and cute photographs.

• Behind the Headlines – a weekly in-depth look at a topic that’s in the news.

• Snap Happy – a page of YOUR pictures. Send us a snap of a birthday party – whether it’s a 100th birthday, a 90th birthday or a first birthday, we’re interested. Or it could be wedding photo, or a wedding anniversary celebration, a photo of something unusual in your neighbourhood, or your first grandchild, or your newborn... if you want to send us a picture that will make other readers smile, send it to us. Again, the addresses appear at the bottom of the page.

• Women in business – a column written by a local woman in business for local women in business.

• Nostalgia – four pages of our weekly stroll down memory lane. What are your memories of the area? Do you have recollections or pictures of yesteryear you’d like to share? Get in touch.

And that’s not all. Each week until October 4, I’ll be telling you more about our new-look paper.

But don’t forget – all your old favourites will still be in the paper every week.

The size of the pages may be smaller, but there will be extra pages – lots of them – so we can bring you everything you already love about the Observer, and add a whole lot more.

Don’t think the changes are done and dusted. If there’s something YOU want to see included, get in touch. It’s YOUR paper – so help us shape its content week after week.

The Observer is already one of the most popular and best-read weekly newspapers in the country.

We want to make it even better – and we need your help to do it. So please get in touch.

You can email your views to, send letters to Chichester Observer, Unicorn House, Eastgate Square, Chichester, PO19 1JN, or leave your comments below.

Colin Channon

Editor in chief

Observer series