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New role for editor at centre of strike row

The outspoken former editor whose redundancy sparked eight weeks of strike action has bounced back in a new role.

South Yorkshire Times editor Jim Oldfield, left, was among 18 people who lost their jobs during a series of cuts at Johnston Press-owned South Yorkshire Newspapers.

Jim’s departure was one of the key reasons behind the strike action by National Union of Journalists’ members at the company, which ended earlier this month.

Now the former Daily Mirror reporter is back as acting editor of the Sheffield-based online-only publication Postcode Gazette.

The Gazette launched in June this year with the aim of creating a virtual newspaper for every postcode in Britain.

Said Jim:  “In a rapidly-changing Press landscape, it becomes more apparent every day that digital media is the way forward.

“While the traditional newspaper publishers struggle to find a way to harness the new media, Postcode Gazette is already up and running with an innovative, hyper-local approach to community journalism, which targets not only websites but the ever-more popular mobile phone market.

“While the others struggle to find a way in the present landscape, Postcode Gazette is already looking to the future.”

Jim already has a strong background in hyperlocal journalism.  While at JP, he launched and ran eight successful community newsletter titles, whose editorial excellence was lauded by the Newspaper Society.

One of them, the Rossington Community Newsletter became the only non-national publication to make it to the finals of the Paul Foot award for Investigative Journalism, 2008.

Postcode Gazette managing director Chris McCormack said: “Jim’s departure from Johnston Press came at a good time for us. Our editorial operation is growing in Sheffield and Jim’s experience of running community newspapers, editing stories, mentoring, and breaking his own stories appealed to us”.

“We are focusing on community news but obviously need the capacity to cover breaking news when it comes along, which Jim gives us.

“He’s already covered a murder in Sheffield, with pictures, which we had on site a full hour before the local paper, which had no images.”

Jim takes on the acting editor’s role as current editor Anna Smith prepares to go on maternity leave.

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  • October 7, 2011 at 10:03 am
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    You can’t keep a good man down.

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  • October 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm
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    ….. And the Postcode Gazette will just grow and grow, get better and better under Jim. He always goes that one step forward with local news and adds a touch of ‘digging deep’ that only the nationals seem to consistently achieve these days.

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