31 Mar 2013

Grey Power says Teletext important for many elderly

10:06 am on 31 March 2013

Grey Power says the closure of the Teletext magazine service on Tuesday will be a sad day for people who rely on it for news and other information.

In late 2012, Television New Zealand announced that it was ending the service, although it will continue to offer captions for TV programmes.

The Teletext magazine service will close at midday on Tuesday, almost 30 years after it began.

Grey Power spokesperson Miles Jackson says not everyone has access to the internet and Teletext is used by many people to get news and weather updates, see if flights are on time and to check Lotto numbers.

"They will now have to get on the phone if they're waiting to meet someone off a plane. A lot of elderly people do like to check their Lotto results on it.

"Elderly people now have cancelled newspapers because they are finding it an additional expense that they can't afford.

Mr Jackson says deaf people will be particularly affected.

TVNZ says it has been struggling with breakdowns and repairs caused by ageing technology and notes similar services have closed in other countries.

It says it has hung on to Teletext as long as it could for the sake of the relatively small number of regular users, but does not have the resources to maintain a high quality service.