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CN Group sponsors student newspaper

Cumbrian Newspapers has agreed a deal to cover half the costs of producing a student magazine for Cumbria Institute of the Arts.

The Informer, based in Carlisle, is run mainly by the BA Journalism students, some of whom also contribute to the News & Star and other regional newspapers.

Informer editor Luke Thornhill said: “We have agreed a deal with Cumbrian Newspapers which will see our paper being printed by them, with them covering half the costs in a sponsorship deal.

“We are raising the rest of the money through advertising and assistance from our student union.

“Previously costs have meant that we have had to publish issues on the photocopier, but this deal with Cumbrian Newspapers will allow us to continue to push ourselves as journalists.”

The journalism course is one of a handful of NCTJ-accredited degree courses in the country and the magazine, set up in the first year of the course, is now 12 issues old.

CN will print 1,000 copies monthly, which would normally cost £450.

Instrumental in getting the deal set up has been Terry Kirton, editor of the West Cumberland Times & Star for 21 years before moving to a lecturing post at the college.

Terry said: “I spoke to the CN Group chief executive Robin Burgess about this and the students subsequently wrote to him. He offered to meet half the costs of producing a full-colour tabloid printed on newsprint, with the students raising the other half of the cash.

“The students were producing a good paper but were having to cut it out and staple it together so it lacked a professional look.

Cumbria Institute Of The Arts has 1,200 students, and The Informer is concentrating on those as its target audience.

Luke said the news team’s long-term aim was to expand to cover the entire student body in Carlisle which stretches to close to 4,000 including the campuses of St Martin’s College and Northumbria University in the city.

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