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More newspapers fight back against the downturn

In the wake of the recession and credit crunch, newspapers across the UK have been launching campaigns on their patch to save readers money and boost the local economy.

Among those featured already on HoldtheFrontPage are the Sunderland Echo, which printed free job ads, and Southampton daily the Southern Daily Echo which offered the city’s unemployed the chance to show off their skills in the paper.

We’ve rounded up some of the other titles running recession-busting campaigns below.

Ipswich daily the Evening Star is bidding shift the news spotlight onto upbeat and positive local business news.

The Star says it’s angered by the doom and gloom merchant so has done its own version of the BBC’s ‘Downturn’ logo to focus on the good news in Ipswich and Suffolk.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has backed the campaign while the paper says it is receiving messages of support from across the country.

And Suffolk Chamber of Commerce has launched a new credit crunch package in the wake of Fightback to help local firms combat the economic downturn.

It will offer independent local firms support in marketing, cutting utility costs, legal advice and discounted business insurance.

Five hundred posters and banners are also being put up around Ipswich saying “You are now entering a Fightback zone”.

A dedicated Fightback campaign section on EveningStar24 gives readers a one-stop shop for the latest developments.

The Lincolnshire Echo has joined its Northcliffe stable mate in Plymouth with its ‘Lincolnshire Bites Back’ campaign.

Some of the county’s business leaders have become partners in the initiative including Lincolnshire County Council, Lincolnshire Co-op and the Chamber of Commerce.

Over the coming weeks the Echo is giving readers advice and practical tips about how they can save money.

Topics on the news agenda include buying local produce, money-saving tips, how to have a cheaper day out around Lincolnshire, how to apply for the various benefits and grants and tips on getting back into education and employment.

Like the Evening Star, the Echo is hosting a dedicated campaign section online rounding up the features while its panel of experts include professors from the University of Lincoln, accountants and solicitors.

The Wetherby News is running ‘Keep it Local’ encouraging local shoppers to fully utilise local businesses.

The Johnston Press weekly will be featuring a different local business every week showcasing the services their offer and giving readers an insight into the people that work there.

Local business leaders have joined the paper to stress the environmental and economic important of supporting independent stores in market towns like Wetherby.


All Subbed Out (23/02/2009 15:36:52)
Is it just me or does anyone else see the irony and hypocrisy in newspaper groups like Archant and Northcliffe banging on about supporting local business and local enterprise when they themselves are closing offices, centralising operations, cutting local editions and sacking branch staff by the score?

Harry K (23/02/2009 17:31:38)
It’s the reporters, not the companies, that run these campaigns. So not ironic in that sense. But, perhaps sensibly, reporters may be trying to get the locals on side so when the district offices are getting shut and staff made redundant, there might be a few influential (ie advert-paying) faces on the picket lines.

regionalhack (24/02/2009 22:58:04)
Worth adding to the story that Johnston Press, doing their bit to help their readers in the credit crunch, put up the cover price of some of their papers in the North. Suppose when you’ve got nearly five hundred million pounds of debt, every little bit helps.