Regional round-up: JPIMedia launches free listing service and Weardale Community News launched

Posted on: April 28, 2020 by admin

JPIMedia launches free listing service for essential services

The regional newsgroup JPIMedia has launched a new ‘Open For Business’ service to support businesses which are providing essential services during the Covid-19 crisis.

The free listing service is an extension of the #supportlocal campaign which encouraged readers to order supplies from local businesses affected by closures imposed by the coronavirus outbreak.

Writing in the West Sussex County Times, deputy editor-in-chief for JPIMedia Gary Shipton, said: “As just one part of #supportlocal we will be launching our Open for Business page in this newspaper to ensure that our readers and those creative and generous businesses offering essential services remain connected.

“This directory is an opportunity for businesses to let you know they are still there for you offering the vital services you still need.”

Shipton said the service is free of charge for on the page listings, but added businesses are “welcome to pay for a larger advertisement if they wish to help sustain both them and our journalism”.

To voice your support for local businesses on twitter, use the hashtag #supportlocal.

Weardale Community News launched

A new local newspaper the Weardale Community News has been launched following the loss of the community’s local title last year.

The free monthly newspaper has been launched in spite of the current crisis and will cover the Weardale area of County Durham after the independent Weardale Gazette folded after 33 years.

The first issue of the Weardale Community News was stocked in shops on Friday rather than being delivered to homes, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The paper’s Paul Turton told HTFP of the publication’s decision to go ahead with the launch:

 “The paper has been sorely missed in the area and discussions about launching a new title have been ongoing since the closure.

“Unfortunately, the emergence of COVID-19, subsequent pandemic and lockdown have presented a number of new challenges to the team. However, the decision was made to press ahead with the launch.”

The paper hopes to expand its first edition of 16 pages to cover a sport’s section once lockdown is over.

Darlington & Stockton Times joins forces with Northern Farmer magazine

The Darlington & Stockton Times has collaborated with local agriculture magazine the Northern Farmer in a bid to bring the best regional farming news and features to the county during the Covid-19 crisis.

This Friday (May 1) the Darlington & Stockton Times will include a pull out of the May edition of Northern Farmer, with both titles including news and features highlighting how the agricultural community has responded in the face of the crisis.

In an article on the paper’s website, editor Hannah Chapman wrote of the importance of bringing news “to the widest possible audience” during this time.

Chapman cited there were “significant issues for the normal distribution of the magazine” as a result of the restrictions imposed by the lockdown and for no extra cost, the Northern Farmer will be available to readers.

Andrew Hitchon, editor of Northern Farmer, said the decision “will ensure that our loyal readers will continue to enjoy the best of farming news and features from across the North of England.”

This is the latest in many changes made by many regional publishers as the news industry looks for ways to survive the financial and logistical challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Belfast Telegraph to launch paywall next month

Daily paper the Belfast Telegraph will launch a paywall next month to maintain and ‘invest in great journalism’ for its titles.

Readers will be asked to pay £2.50 per week to read news on the site; however, the paper says some content will remain free to read.

From May 19, the paper will launch its paywall in a campaign telling readers that ‘real stories are worth paying for’.

An announcement on the Belfast Telegraph website said, “Honest journalism you can trust is priceless.

“We have listened to our readers who have told us what is important to them: quality, impartial, trustworthy reporting and journalism on what matters most to the people of Northern Ireland.

“This means we will continue to invest in great journalism, great journalists and writers for our titles. To maintain this quality, we will launch a subscription service on

“We hope that you, like we do, will consider this worth paying for.”

The paper, owned by Independent News and Media, announced Eoin Brannigan as its new editor last week.

This news follows regional publisher Newsquest’s decision to add a partial paywall to its regional daily newspaper websites last week. Newsquest’s Editorial Development Director Toby Granville had however told the SoE that coverage of the Covid-19 crisis would remain free to access.