A new public awareness team is to be pioneered on YorkshireLive as part of a rapid expansion for the news brand which will see the workforce grow by a quarter.
A total of seven new roles have been created at YorkshireLive, which has grown rapidly to become one of the country’s top regional news sites.
Three of the new positions will go into a new public awareness team, which will focus on making public interest news engaging to members of the public.
Roles for a court reporter, Yorkshire insight reporter and Yorkshire investigations reporter have all been created in the team, and will be advertised from later this week.
They will be joined by Stephanie Finnegan, YorkshireLive’s Leeds Crown Court reporter and Alexandra Rodgers, who recently joined the team from HullLive as parliamentary correspondent.
Neil Hodgkinson, marketplace publisher for Reach in the North East and Yorkshire, said: “We wanted to build on the initial success of Yorkshire Live and a public awareness team is something that will hopefully bring an added dimension to our commitment to quality journalism.
“Public interest journalism is at the very heart of what local journalism should be about, but it has to be read and valued by people to have a purpose. This team will add further depth and quality to our output and offer another voice to our communities.”
Wayne Ankers, editor of YorkshireLive, said: “Yorkshire Live reflects all aspects of life and that’s shown by our growth in such a short time. It’s about our audience, not about us. And we work with a smile!”
YorkshireLive will also be launching a Yorkshire Trending channel on the site, focusing on stories and information which people are searching for and talking about in real-time. Two trending journalists are being hired for that team, with a brief to help keep Yorkshire up to date in real time.
Helen Dalby, audience and content director for the North East and Yorkshire, said: “We pride ourselves on being first with breaking news and last to switch off in the evening.
“We have been delighted that it has taken less than six months to attract the largest digital audience in Yorkshire.
“We have done that with a Yorkshire mix of hard work, grit and determination from our brilliant team and a variety of news, entertainment and sports content that is never boring.”
YorkshireLive will also be launching a sports app dedicated to football and rugby league across the region, while an app engagement editor is being recruited, as well as a new Leeds United reporter to join Leeds United editor Joe Mewis and reporter Beren Cross.
Jon Birchall, sports audience and content director for sport, said: “Football fans across Yorkshire have made our writers covering Leeds United, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday feel like part of the family since we arrived at the clubs at various points over the past few years, building on our proven track record in covering Huddersfield for over 100 years.
“The app will provide additional features and exclusive content to our most loyal readers, while the new Leeds United reporter is an investment in coverage for a large group of fans who show day in, day out how important our coverage of their club is to them.”
According to the latest Comscore data, 5.1m people read content from the YorkshireLive team in August. The site was launched in February, bringing together LeedsLive, and ExaminerLive under one brand for the region. Comscore reports 30m page views were consumed by UK readers in August.
David Higgerson, chief audience officer at Reach, said: “Our growing team in Yorkshire have done a brilliant job in taking our brand of journalism, blending the important with the popular, and making it an essential part of daily life for people right across Yorkshire.
“We believe the future of local journalism involves listening to readers as much as it does telling readers what the news is, and our public interest news team will help us take that approach to an area of content which deserves the widest possible audience.”
This article first appeared on Behind Local News.