Tees Valley Standard to run good news only

Family-owned newspaper company Active Media has launched a monthly paid-for which will focus only on positive local news.

The Tees Valley Standard covers a 35- mile radius and has a print run of 15,000 in Stockton, Middlesbrough, Stokeley, Guisborough, Redcar and the villages within the boundaries of the Tees Valley.

The paper is being launched by former regional newspaper advertising executive Maria Smith, who has employed Gillie Hatton as the title's sole staff journalist.

Smith said: "The reason why I launched the Standard was because I feel quite strongly that there's a need in the area for letting people know the positive things that are happening.

"To us, we aren't competing with papers such as The Northern Echo and Middlesbrough Gazette. We are aiming for a completely different market; the readers who want to read about the positive happenings in the area.

"The other press can cover the negative news, the readers we are aiming for are the people who want to read about the good things."

Smith said if there was a triple murder on the Standard's doorstep the paper would focus on the positive aspects of the murderer having been caught.

She said: "There's always a positive way to report a story. In terms of frontpage news we would never carry anything like Three Die in Smash or Baby on Deathbed. Never will that happen."

In March of last year former Tamworth Herald editor Sam Holliday cut back on grim crime stories and "added a little more humour" after readers said they felt depressed by the negative coverage.

Former BBC News reader Martyn Lewis famously caused controversy and received widespread criticism after claiming that television should feature more "good-news stories."

The 44-page Tees Valley Standard is available for 50p in newsagents and post offices.

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