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Former editor launches news website for old patch

A community news website has been set up by a former newspaper editor covering his old patch after he took redundancy.

David Jackman was editor of the Epping Forest Guardian, Harlow and Bishop’s Stortford Citizens and the Epping Forest Independent but left in October after 21 years with the titles.

Although he now works in corporate communications for the NHS, the 42-year-old is retaining links with his old patch by launching

It features major news stories from the Essex patch as well as grassroots community news which David says some titles are now neglecting.

“In a way I guess it felt like I owed it to the district and the countless contacts I had established over the years,” he said.

“The Epping Forest edition no longer carries reports on the grassroots news such as the WI and Townswomen’s Guild reports which used to feature on a weekly Clubs and Societies page.

“I’ve lived in the area almost all my life and know people value the ‘community news’ element of their local newspaper.

“They see their local newspaper as a different read to their daily national paper and, while they want to be able to read about major crime and the big council issues, they also want to read about who spoke at the last WI meeting.”

The website, which has also features details of around 100 local events, includes a news archive section, a page for clubs and organisations to publicise their activities free of charge and a local business directory.

Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing wrote a welcome column for the website’s launch day.

She said: “What a great idea to set up a news and information website for Epping Forest.

“So many of us now depend on the internet for our national and international news.

“I am sure that local people will welcome this brilliant initiative and that we will come to rely on it to know what is going on here in our own community.”

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