Good night, sweet print: Thank you and goodbye from The Times staff
New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings, the Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu wrote.
There are few thoughts more apt today as we publish the final print edition of The Times.
Even as the presses fall silent, our team is working hard on a new digital incarnation called Times Select, which will launch at the end of January. Although we know a new era awaits, it is still a painful goodbye.
We know you feel it, too, as a golden thread runs through readers' letters mourning the paper's closure. The deep sense of loss is shared in our newsroom. We are all saying goodbye to a friend.
For the past decade The Times has occupied a special place in the media landscape as a cheeky, rambunctious daily. She was the one having fun in the centre of the dance floor when everyone else hugged the walls. For us she was the life of our party, but, while her physical form changes, our challenge will be to capture the spirit of The Times in Times Select, which we are confident we will do.
As we have mentioned before, all our flagship columnists, including Jonathan Jansen, Justice Malala, Darrel Bristow-Bovey, Tony Leon, Wendy Knowler, Tom Eaton and others, will remain with us. Many in the print editorial team remain, too, and continue to report for the premium Times Select, our free-to-air TimesLIVE website and for our heavyweight sister, the Sunday Times.
Times Select will be unique in the South African market as a digital daily edition, distinct from rolling news sites that dominate the landscape. It will bring the tight curation of news that The Times is known for and will also include exclusive journalism of consequence for which we are known.
Our medium might be changing but our journalism will remain the same. If it changes in any way, it will be for the better as we utilise the new potential a digital platform provides.
To our readers, we thank you for your loyalty over the years and hope you will follow us into our new beginning.
The Times team deserve tribute, too. It is a measure of their quality that they have continued to professionally produce this paper even after its closure was announced.
So, for now it is goodbye - until we meet again.
IN PICTURES: Putting The Times to bed for the last time:
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