Both the Gazette and the Mail are published by Johnston Press.
Joy (pictured) has worked at the Shields Gazette since 1988, and held various editorial roles before becoming deputy editor four years ago.
She said: “I have enjoyed 18 rewarding years at my hometown newspaper and I am thrilled to have been given this fantastic opportunity with my first editorship.”
Gazette editor John Szymanski said: “I am delighted that Joy has fulfilled her ambition to become an editor.
“I thank her for her hard work and dedication, and I am sure she will prove to be a big success in her new role.”