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Independent weekly publishes its 100th issue

Staff at the independent Your Leek Paper are celebrating the publication of its 100th issue.

The weekly newspaper, which serves the Staffordshire market town of Leek, was first published on June 25, 2003, with just 32 pages and one full-time reporter.

Since then it has gone from strength to strength, and now has 48 pages and 20 full or part-time members of staff.

Its sales have also continued to rise, from an initial 3,750 to 4,569 for the July to December period of 2004, and a significant increase is expected when the next audit results are published.

Editor Gary Shenton said: “This is a great time for the newspaper and for our readers. Our strength is growing along with our readership and we all feel a sense of excitement at what the future holds.

“One thing our readers continue to congratulate us on is the balance and fairness of our reporting and that is something we will continue to safeguard.”

Billed as ‘For the People of Leek – By the People of Leek’, the paper was launched by a group of former employees of the Leek Post and Times who left after it was bought by Northcliffe, and they now compete with their former employer.

As well as marking its achievement with a front-page story, the paper also marked Local Newspaper Week with a series of articles about journalism and the newspaper industry.

Gary, who has worked in Leek newspapers for more than 30 years, said: “It’s important people recognise the benefits of truly local newspapers.

“A majority of our staff either live in Leek or have worked here all their lives. We drive the same roads, shop in the same supermarkets and share the same problems. That is what a local newspaper should be all about.”