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Oldham Times editor says successful first year in print shows 'just how important having a local paper fighting for its community still is'

The editor of a Newsquest weekly celebrating its first anniversary has said its successful first year showed “just how important having a local paper fighting for its community still is”.

The newspaper launched three weeks after 160-year-old daily title The Oldham Chronicle closed down in August last year as owners Hirst, Kidd and Rennie fell into administration.

It relaunched as an online-only title in February under new owners Credible Media.

Oldham Times content editor David Rigby, who has been with the newspaper since its launch, said the team had “big shoes to fill” after the Chronicle’s closure.

Editor Karl Holbrook, who took over last month, said: “The Oldham Times is a fantastic paper and its success in such a short period of time goes to show just how important having a local paper fighting for its community still is.

“We are delighted to be celebrating this landmark anniversary both by looking back at some of our highlights but also by looking to the future with the launch of our new campaign and some fab new platforms designed to give the print and online products a fresh perspective.”

Holbrook wants to put more focus on online content and has used the anniversary to introduce new features and a revamped format, including a new-look justice page and an eight page puzzles section.

To celebrate the anniversary, the Oldham Times is today publishing a bumper 88-page anniversary edition with a 24-page supplement looking back at the highlights of its first year.

It is also launching an Oldham’s Community Champions campaign to highlight the town’s unsung heroes.

Its first four case studies include a 12-year-old boy with serious health issues who raised thousands for charity and a woman who travels across the UK on a litter picking mission.

The weekly title is asking its readers to nominate their own unsung heroes to be featured over the next 12 months.

Rigby said it has been a “massive first year” for the weekly with “52 editions which have seen us cover every aspect of everyday life in the borough”.

“This anniversary edition will see us introduce new features and a revamped format, while retaining our core objective of bringing you the news, good, bad, funny or sad, from your area,” he added.

“I must personally give a huge thanks to our readers, contributors and advertisers for their unwavering support for our new paper.

“We had big shoes to fill with the demise of the Oldham Evening Chronicle, and look forward to an even more successful year as we strive to uphold the traditions of good, honest, and unbiased reporting.”

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner, whose constituency includes the Oldham town of Failsworth, hailed the title as “a vital source of information” while Oldham mayor Javid Iqbal said he hopes this will be the “first year of many for The Oldham Times”.

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1 thought on “Oldham Times editor says successful first year in print shows 'just how important having a local paper fighting for its community still is'”

  1. Totally agreeing with the words “just how important having a local paper fighting for its community still is”.

    Contextually: London “local papers”, many still appearing, are no longer with their Communities!

    Social cleansing, crime festering with all three “deprived” “East London” boroughs of Hackney, Tower hamlets and Newham being democratically decimated via the foisting of “Executive Mayor”, the destruction of Communities is going apace with no “local paper fighting for its community” in any of the boroughs afflicted by the anti-Democratic dictatorial regime.

    You quote Angela Rayner applauding the title, which is how she should come across.

    However, across “England”, the Labour Party is not coming across as fighting for the local Communities, in the way that your quotation comes across “just how important having a local paper fighting for its community still is”.

    Why this is is vital?

    Ans: The ‘name’ made by Andrew Norfolk of the Times with his “investigation” into grooming!

    Why aren’t the local papers fighting in all those areas?

    Last week, the “Columbia Road Cartel” hit the news after fed up local people put up satirical road signs proclaiming DRUG DEALERS spaces in the streets. The Tower Hamlets “mayor” appeared on TV only to blame lack of funds for police absence from the drugs-infested zones in the Borough

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