Every fortnight, Chichester Area Talking News (CATN) produces an hour of local news on memory stick and CD for blind and partially sighted people in the Chichester, Bognor Regis, Midhurst and Petworth areas. That is to say - the areas covered by the three editions of the local Observer newspaper - from the coastal towns and villages as far north to Haslemere, east to Elmer and west to Emsworth.
Founded in 1975, CATN celebrated its 1,000th Edition in August 2014. To mark this achievement, we produced a Commemorative Programme for you to listen to.
Every quarter, CATN produces INSIGHT - a 75 minute magazine programme which is also distributed free to listeners. With its own dedicated producer, presenter and technical operator, it seeks out interesting items of local and general interest. Over the years it has covered subjects as varied as the work of various charities - ranging from the Mary Rose project at Portsmouth to the Weald and Downland Museum in Singleton. INSIGHT has reported on local agricultural businesses and unearthed the history of the area with items by the local Public Records office. In addition, the literary work of the people from the area, famous and not so famous, is included, along with all manner of quirky reports covering a wide range of human activities. The passing seasons are reflected with items from Richard Williamson, the cultural life of the area is celebrated, and interviews and profiles of well known local people past and present pop up from time to time. We know from our postbag that many of our listeners look forward to each edition and often keep it to listen again to a particular favourite item.
Most of us rely on our local newspaper to keep in touch with what is happening in and around the area in which we live, providing information that does not reach us by means of television or radio. This is the really local news from which the visually impaired are completely cut off unless they happen to have a relative or friend who can spare the time to read to them regularly. The "talking newspaper" produced by CATN fills this gap, and plays an important role in helping to restore their independence as well as creating the opportunity for them to continue to take an active interest in the community.