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Record sale as flood leaves readers thirsty for news

The public’s thirst for information during the recent floods in Carlisle resulted in a record sale for the News & Star.

More than 61,500 copies of a flood disaster special edition were sold on the Monday following the floods – compared with the previous year’s 26,000 for the same day.

It was the most copies ever sold by the paper on a single day.

Tuesday’s News & Star also proved popular, selling 32,231, and the weekly average was 35,264.

The sales success followed the News & Star’s ‘edition that never was’, when a power cut prevented publication and focus turned to its website – which was inundated with pictures from readers and recorded 1.7m page impressions in the week after the flood.

Printing of Monday’s edition was switched to the News & Star’s support printing press at Barrow-in-Furness, allowing it to produce 34 pages of flood coverage, documenting how countless homes have been wrecked and how the clean-up operation had begun.

The printing press in Carlisle was reconnected around 7.30pm on Sunday, minutes after editor Keith Sutton had spoken directly with the Chief Constable on the need to get the press up and running.

He told police that pointing out that local residents had been unable to see pictures, or receive authoritative news, since the Friday night and many had little idea of the scope of the disaster.

Later in the week the paper published a special eight-page insert of readers’ pictures, some of which were taken from vantage points inaccesssible to its photographers.

It also provided a page of vital public information, including dates and venues for emergency meetings, offers of homes and furniture and electricity compensation claim forms during the week after the flood.

  • The News & Star’s sister paper, the broadsheet weekly Cumberland News, featured a poster front page of flood pictures headlined City of Heroes, and sold 43,724 copies, the highest recorded in the paper’s history. Its website received 250,000 page impressions.