Former Johnston Press editor launches new weekly to rival ex-employer - Press Gazette

Former Johnston Press editor launches new weekly to rival ex-employer

A former Johnston Press editor has launched a weekly newspaper to rival his former employer.

Jason Marshall, who took voluntary redundancy from the regional publishing giant in May after 30 years, put out the first edition of The Hawick Paper on Friday.

It is in direct competition with Johnston Press’s weekly title the Hawick News, which covers the Scottish border town, which Marshall edited for nine years.

The News had a circulation of 4,741 copies when last audited in 2012, ABC records show.

The Paper costs 90p and employs a full-time advertising executive, with several freelance reporters and photographers contributing.

Marshall told Hold The Front Page that newsagents had already sold out and were requesting extra copies on Friday morning.

He said: “We’ve had a phenomenal reaction to the paper from townsfolk and advertisers, all of whom have backed us to the hilt. We’re a hyper-local title, with reporters on the ground in Hawick, and very affordable advertising rates.

“For what it’s worth, re the current state of the industry, people haven’t fallen out of love with newspapers, they’ve fallen out of love with what’s in them.

“There’s not a word in our paper today that doesn’t concern our town and that’s the only way we will succeed.”

The Hawick Paper's first edition
The Hawick Paper’s first edition

In a front page editorial welcoming readers, Marshall wrote: “It’s a bright new dawn for local news coverage, and one which we feel has been long overdue.

“The Hawick Paper will give you a voice like no other local newspaper does, while also giving you value for money and a top-quality paper.

“It’s your newspaper, though, and we need your help to make sure we publish the stories and features on the issues that matter most to you.

“We’re particularly determined to throw the spotlight on all the positive things happening in Hawick and the surrounding area, and we’ll also do our best ro raise a smile where we can.

“We also believe it is important to have a strong voice reporting the news in and around Hawick and we will always challenge those in power.

“But more than anything we’ll do our best to celebrate the many local success stories.

“Enjoy today’s first edition, it’s been an honour and a privilege for our team to put together.

“None of our competitors plough the same resources into bringing you all the local news, sport and features than we do – and we aim to start as we mean to go on by delivering a cracking read for you today.”


2 thoughts on “Former Johnston Press editor launches new weekly to rival ex-employer”

  1. Well done! This will start happening everywhere. Local news can’t be centralised by national and international companies. Bottom lines equals poor news coverage by shattered journalists. We all want local news, and the internet can be great for covering news abroad, but often it’s difficult to find out what’s happening in your own town as ‘centralised’ subs and news desks lose touch with the local community.

  2. This is fantastic news, for the people of Hawick, and newspaper lovers everywhere. Weekly print has plenty of life left in it, particularly at a local level. Let’s hope loads of other great independent journalists follow Jason Marshall’s lead.

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