Some thoughts on the launch of a new print-first newspaper in Tunbridge Wells

Interesting news from my old patch today with the announcement of the launch of a new print-first weekly newspaper for Tunbridge Wells, a well-heeled Kentish town whose media landscape is currently dominated by the Local World-owned Kent and Sussex Courier. The decision to launch The Times of Tunbridge Wells with a print focus comes at a time when the march of the local press seems to be almost exclusively towards digital, as evidenced by the decision by Trinity Mirror last year to go online-only in Berkshire.

I was particularly struck – for two reasons – by this quote from Times of Tunbridge Wells editorial director Richard Moore given to the Press Gazette:

The Courier’s main emphasis is online, our main focus will be to provide quality print copy. We will have a more serious news approach and also cover national news.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Trainee reporters are losing out if they can’t learn the trade in a proper newsroom

I still remember the moment I realised – beyond doubt – that I wanted to be a journalist. It was the autumn of 2006 and Leo Whitlock, then editor of the Kentish Express in Ashford, had invited me into his newsroom for a week of work experience.

The work was the usual fare assigned to the eager but inexperienced: bashing out a bit of filler and the chance to grab a byline or two with some safe human interest tales. But what I remember to this day was my disbelief that this was actually considered work. Here was a room full of clever people, being nosy and argumentative, drinking tea and cracking jokes – all while producing something that thousands of people would read each and every week.

I knew immediately that this was the kind of life I wanted to experience for myself.

Continue reading

In praise of… the Carmarthen Journal’s community news pages

Journal Local Front

Last weekend was spent in West Wales, staying in the wonderful Carmarthenshire village of Laugharne and visiting family in Carmarthen and Llandysul.

Naturally I picked up a copy of the local newspaper, partly to see what was on the agenda locally and partly to satisfy my geeky urge to pore over the design and content of a product I hadn’t encountered before.

Continue reading