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National newspaper to expand regional coverage with new hub

Helen PiddThe Guardian is to expand its coverage of the Northern English regions by basing a team of five reporters in Manchester.

The daily, which began life in the 19th century as the Manchester Guardian before going national, says the move will “significantly extend its coverage of the region and the reach of its newsroom.”

North of England editor Helen Pidd, pictured, will oversee the team which will also include prisons correspondent Eric Allison, North of England correspondents Josh Halliday and Nazia Parveen, and North of England reporter Frances Perraudin.

The move was announced by Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner, who began her career on local newspapers in Yorkshire.

She said:  “I’m delighted to be building on the Guardian’s fine heritage in Manchester by putting more reporters on the ground to get scoops, break news and provide context and analysis about the North of England.

“At a time of unprecedented global reach and influence for the Guardian, we’ll be shedding light on the issues affecting this crucial region and adding a northern perspective to national and global conversations.”

Added Helen: “It’s fantastic to welcome Josh, Frances and Nazia to the Guardian’s North of England team – they’re all outstanding journalists with strong connections to the north, and they will bring significant knowledge and expertise to our expanding coverage of the region.”

All five journalists will start their new roles in January.


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  • November 23, 2015 at 10:13 am

    What goes around comes around…took far too long, mind. Now can we have a less London-oriented mindset in the features too?

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  • November 23, 2015 at 10:32 am

    Good to see, in concert with the beeb’s expansion of hyper-local news reporters maybe some of the void can be filled from the continuing collapse of the North West’s biggest local newspapers.

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  • November 23, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    At last, a national broadsheet has woken up to the fact that life exists outside the M25 ring fence.
    For too long, ‘Fleet Street’ has been too London-orientated, especially as most people outside the South East aren’t particularly interested in the capital.
    This move by The Guardian marks a small step back towards the good old days when Withy Grove in Manchester was the northern news powerhouse.
    It will, I hope, help to restore media balance, with more emphasis on the regions.
    There’s no doubt that London-centricity has contributed to national circulation declines over the last 20 years. Perhaps this move will help The Guardian claw back some of those lost sales.
    It’s a good time to make the move because the great regional titles of the past are now in retreat because of rank bad management.
    There was a time when big city papers in the Midlands and North outsold all the nationals combined on their own patches, but I doubt if this is now the case.
    There is a vacuum that needs filling. It will be interesting to see if The Guardian can make headway on what used to be its own territory.
    Whatever happens, the editor deserves praise for taking this bold initiative.

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  • November 24, 2015 at 10:43 am

    It would be genuinely nice to see these organisations employ experienced northern journalists too one day hopefully. I partook in the BBC’s ‘search for northern talent’ along with about a dozen other experienced northern journos I knew and can only describe the process as an absolute debacle.

    It’s not enough to have an office up here, they need to recruit from the army of northern talent that’s been cast off from the collapsing North West local newspaper industry, because there’s a lot of talent and experience there.

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