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Former Johnston Press editor reveals expansion plans for new online-only newspaper

Robin Young at deskA former editor who founded a digital-only newspaper earlier this year has earmarked a regional daily’s former district office as a potential new headquarters.

Robin Young, pictured left, launched The Gosport Globe in January as an online-only weekly title and he hopes to produce a print version in future.

He also wants to recruit staff for the publication and is looking for an office for the weekly – with a former district office of The News, Portsmouth, on Gosport High Street, being looked at as a potential base.

Robin previously served as the editor of three weekly newspapers in Northern Ireland and Scotland during his four-decade career in the regional press, before moving to the south coast of England in order to be near his three children in the Royal Navy.

He began his career as a proof-reader and copy holder for the Peterborough Evening Telegraph in 1969, and eventually became editor of the Londonderry Sentinel, a position he held for three years until suffering a heart attack in November 2007.

He later took up the editorship of two other Johnston Press titles in South-West Scotland, the Carrick Gazette and Galloway Gazette, until he left in July 2011 with the intention of founding is own series of free weeklies in the region.

However, he shelved the initiative due to the recession and later moved south.

Discussing his plans for the future with HTFP, Robin said: “I would like to see a print edition for those people who don’t use the internet, with additional copies at hotels, the Gosport ferry terminus and bus station.

“However, the capital outlay required is considerably more than we would consider at present. We would also want to be sure that, at the very least, newsprint and printing costs were covered in the long term.”

The Globe’s website is currently updated on a regular basis to allow for breaking stories, with the Friday PDF edition available to download on Thursday nights.

Robin hopes to recruit a reporter and part-time photographer before the autumn, and The Globe is currently seeking an advertising rep.

He said: “More staff will be taken on in line with expansion. We have several freelance contributors – including a couple who used to work for Johnston Press – and also have a former News of the World journalist as one of our correspondents.”

Robin touted the former district office of The News, Portsmouth, on Gosport High Street, as a potential future home for the title, although this is still under consideration.

He added: “We are looking for the best possible deal because we don’t want to take on a short-term lease and then have to relocate six months later.”

“Having a shop window for a large screen showing the rolling website, with an open plan office behind where people can call in with stories, advertising, BMDs or just to pass the time of day, is all part of the business plan. And the sooner the better.”

This week's edition of the Globe, which is available in PDF format

This week’s edition of the Globe, which is available in PDF format


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