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Weston weeklies have busy morning of hot news

Reporters on two South West weeklies had an unexpected start to the week this morning as their town’s pier was engulfed in flames.

Staff from both the Weston and Somerset Mercury and Weston and Worle News were dispatched to the scene as day broke to cover the breaking story.

Both papers adopted a web-first strategy to break the news before breakfast online with Thursday print editions giving reporters time to dig deeper for a fuller story.

Mercury news editor Simon Angear said: “Our first reporter was down there at 7.15am and I was dragged out from home early doors.

“When we got there, there was just a small lick of flames at the pier.

“We got the story, took some photos, interviewed the crowd and made some videos.

“You can see the smoke from our office, which is about half a mile away, but I’ve been told it’s visible for 60 miles.”

For this week’s edition, the Archant weekly has an interview with pier’s owner, more crowd reaction and a picture spread containing some of the dozens of photos sent in by readers.

Meanwhile reporters at local rivals, the Northcliffe-owned Weston and Worle News, had a similarly early start.

Reporter Richard Bache said: “We got stuff on the website by 7.30am which I did from home and reporters from the pier fed stuff through over the phone.

“We’ve already got pictures and we’re working on the video – it’s been pretty manic.

“We’re in the age of getting the immediate stuff on the internet as quickly as possible.

“Some of the breaking news impact will be lost by Thursday so we’ll be getting the story behind the fire.”

The pier was sold in February to local entrepreneurial siblings with the Weston and Somerset Mercury benefitting from a broken printing press to squeeze an exclusive story in print after an 11th-hour meeting to secure the sale.


Amy Thomas (28/07/2008 21:47:09)
it is so sad about that i hope that they will rebuilt it

Julie Clare (28/09/2008 16:22:19)
I was really upset I was at work at the time heard about on the news it felt so numb, because I was just on the pier the thursday before sad hope they rebuild it again better than before