The story of an armed carjacker mowing down a family and killing a grandmother saw the Shields Gazette leave its rivals trailing in its wake.
The Gazette was first on the scene to bring its readers exclusive pictures of the accident scene and follow-ups as the full story unfolded, leaving the nationals scrambling to catch up.
And with staff working flat out to get family and eye-witness reaction, the Gazette exclusively broke the news that the car which killed the grandmother belonged to her sister.
Reporters worked overnight and sub-editors were drafted in early for the Gazette’s coverage of the tragedy, which resulted in almost a 25 per cent sales rise over two days.
The Johnston Press title also updated events through its three editions on South Tyneside. And even before a word got into print, the paper’s internet site southtynesidetoday.co.uk was uploaded with details of the tragedy within hours of it occurring, followed by constant copy and picture updates.
Gazette editor John Szymanski praised his staff for their dedication and added: “This is what a local paper should be about and really does best – using contacts, tips off and local knowledge to get to the story first.
“Virtually everyone within the Gazette worked on this story and contributed to our coverage of this tragedy.
“Another important aspect of this is the special relationship the Gazette has with the people of South Tyneside. Our phones were ringing non-stop with tip-offs and other valuable information.
“I am extremely proud of what we achieved and how Gazette staff rallied round and worked day and night to get the job done.”