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Local press stays ahead of Olympic game

As the dust settles on Britain’s most successful Olympic Games for a century the regional press has also been benefiting from the “gold rush.”

While some local journalists were lucky enough to report from the Beijing Games in person, others followed the reaction of friends and family watching the action at home.

The Mansfield Chad had extensive coverage during the games and set up a section on its website devoted entirely to stories about local double Olympic swimming champion Rebecca Adlington.

Deputy editor Tim Morriss stayed up till 4am to report on the finals and was surprised when reader comments appeared immediately after he had posted the results.

Video footage featuring reaction from Rebecca’s family was added the following day while recorded 670,796 page impressions – a 10pc rise on the previous month.

Nearly 80,000 unique users logged on while print circulation also climbed.

The website also has video footage from her open top bus parade through the Nottinghamshire town and over 100 photos, including dozens sent in by readers.

Further south, the Newham Recorder delayed its Tuesday print deadline by three hours to carry the result of the 400m final, won by local favourite Christine Ohuruogu.

Editor Colin Grainger had exchanged text messages with the athlete throughout the Games, making make her aware of the strong support from readers in East London, and using her responses in exclusive stories.

South Wales-based Celtic Weekly Newspapers was due to publish a four-page picture pullout yesterday charting cycling gold medallist Nicole Cooke’s homecoming to Wick in the Vale of Glamorgan.

A reporter for the weeklies’ sister titles the Western Mail and the South Wales Echo watched Nicole race in a local pub with her parents, securing exclusive reaction.

Media Wales head of production Martin Wells said: “It’s a great example of how having a local reporter on the ground pays dividends, and how we didn’t get abandoned having supported her over the years.”

The Macclesfield Express paid close attention to Ben Ainslie, the town’s “most successful sporting son” while its sister title the Manchester Evening News secured exclusives with cycling gold medallist Chris Hoy.

  • How did your paper fare with its Olympic coverage? Did you see a massive boost in sales and advertising revenue or did your internet hits enjoy a huge spike. Tell us at