A TALKING newspaper has joined the 21st century by going digital, with a helping hand from the owners of the the Oxford Mail.

The Didcot, Abingdon and Wantage Talking Newspaper (Dawn) received £6,848 from our parent company Gannett, through its charitable foundation.

Volunteers spent the cash updating their equipment from audio tapes to digital media.

The change means the group’s 100 members – who include blind and partially-sighted people and others who may be unable to read regular newspapers – will now get recordings on digital storage boxes, which can be re-used every week.

Treasurer Paul Dickinson said: “This is the first time we will record the newspaper on the new digital equipment.

“We set ourselves a timetable to put it out in the week of our 18th anniversary, and that’s exactly what we’ve done.”

The equipment was officially launched at an event on Wednesday night at the Abingdon Resource and Wellbeing Centre in Audlett Drive.

Mr Dickinson said: “It has been a major learning curve, but we are hoping everything will run smoothly.

“The new equipment will let us record in better quality and use memory sticks over and over again.

“We are very grateful to Gannett for giving us the full amount needed.”

There are about 500 talking newspapers in the country, around half of using digital technology.

Volunteers took the digital boxes to the homes of each listener, to teach them how to use it.