Evening Post launches X Factor-style talent hunt

The Lancashire Evening Post launched an X Factor-style competition to find a newsreader for its online daily news bulletins.

When the paper's original online reader, Marc Jackson, left the paper, digital editor Martin Hamer came up with the idea to launch News Idol to find a replacement.

Dozens of people turned up to the auditions at Preston Guild Hall, which sponsors the news bulletin, and were given 10 minutes to prepare and read a script before facing the camera for the first time.

The Evening Post, which spearheaded Johnston Press's digital-newsroom-of-the-future strategy, is due to launch a new website within the next few weeks. Winner Rachel Murray will read the news on the day of launch, and four runners-up will read the news on the following days.

Murray, 22, is a post-graduate journalism student. Hamer said: "The daily news bulletin has proved really popular and we thought this was a great way to generate interest in the new website, which we are all excited about.

"The standard was so high. Considering that the people who took part had only minutes to prepare, they were amazing."

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