Saturday, 6 April 2013

Johnston Press relaunches: the Berwick Advertiser and the Morpeth Herald, postscript

I've revisited the Berwick Advertiser and the Morpeth Herald this week and remain impressed. The teething troubles of the 'Tiser in week one of the relaunch have been overcome, with an improved balance between copy and image on the front page - with a story as close to readers' hearts and wallets as the potential dualling of the A1, this demanded to be the front page lead - and an excellent selection of photographs from a Berwick Operatic Society (accompanying this review, though most of the pictures haven't made it to the website) production which emphasises local faces and local creativity. The local press is both journal of record and journal of recognition, with each local face potentially adding sales.

The Herald continues with a range of stories from throughout its coverage area; a reduced letters page, thanks to the number of would-be councillors among correspondents and the incoming electoral purdah; and the Leisure section now has its own heading. Colour reproduction could be better, but this was an issue before Trinity Mirror took over printing too, and is perhaps the occupational hazard of being a small weekly fitting in amongst larger runs. Chief reporter Anna Smith's centrespread concerns the commemorations of the centenary of Emily Davison's death included in this weekend's Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering and beyond.

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