A council has taken the unusual step of sponsoring a special edition of a regional daily to ensure the title can report on the election results today.
The Worcester News is printing two editions today for the first time in more than five years, with the second being sponsored by Worcester City Council – which the paper says will have no control over editorial content.
A partnership was set up with the authority after it said the results of the election would not be announced until around 2.30am because of the complications of the AV referendum.
Editor Peter John said the title normally printed around midnight but because the authority was also keen to get the results to people as soon as possible, it agreed to sponsor the election special, which was due to go to print around 4am this morning.
Today’s Worcester News will therefore be split into two editions – the first at the normal print time delivered to areas outside the city and the second one which includes the results.
An editorial to readers yesterday said the ‘historic’ move would allow the paper to continue the tradition of bringing people overnight election results.
It said: “It’s a good five years since the News printed more than one edition, so it’s a bit of a trip down memory lane for some of us.
“But more important is the fact that the City Council is supporting this special edition.
“They have done so on the specific understanding that their support is to ensure the age-old democratic tradition of bringing results of overnight counts to local people is maintained.
“Part of the excitement of elections is seeing the results roll in, capturing the emotions of candidates and their supporters, seeing power shifting as it happens.
“And let’s face it, with turn-outs the way they have been in recent years, anything that can be done to help participation levels is to be welcomed.
“The editorial content of the special edition of the News tomorrow is completely unaffected by the City Council’s support. Editorial control rested entirely with us.”