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Northern weekly in broadsheet to compact switch

A local newspaper in the north will one of a number of Johnston Press titles to make the switch from broadsheet to compact in the same week.

The Northumberland Gazette published its last broadsheet edition this week in line with Local Newspaper Week.

The 158-year-old title will relaunch as a compact on 31 May following feedback from readers.

Announcing the changes in an article in the Gazette editor Paul Larkin said: “The demand for news in paper format is still very much there but we have to fit in with hectic lifestyles and technological advances that no one could have predicted even a decade ago, let alone in 1854.

“The Gazette will need to embrace those innovations – the likes of social media, mobile phone apps and whatever the latest must-have is just around the corner – while not forgetting our core values and principles.

“And so part of the change will be to reduce the physical size of the paper to a compact format, at the same time doubling the pagination and embracing a new, dynamic look befitting modern society.”

Last week HTFP reported that two other Johnston Press titles – the West Sussex County Times, and the Bucks Herald – were also making the change. The company is re-launching all of its 170 paid-for titles with each of the papers redesigned around one of five templates.

Added Paul: “The challenges the newspaper industry, in general, faces nowadays are immense, with competition for readers from a myriad of sources.

“But papers, and local newspapers in particular, have stood the test of time, thriving alongside the innovations of the telephone, radio, television and, more recently, the internet.

“The element of trust in a local paper cannot be underestimated, especially in these days of rumour, counter-rumour, malicious accusation and downright lies blitzing social media.

“I have often heard it said from readers that they will not believe something is true until they read it in the Gazette.”