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New editor of hometown daily aims to launch ‘city revolution’

An editor who took charge of her hometown daily this week has vowed to launch a “revolution” in the city.

Nancy Fielder, who took charge at The Star, Sheffield, on Monday, says she is “sick to the back teeth” of rival cities such as Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham prospering over her hometown.

She is now urging readers to help her improve the city, offering to visit their communities to be a “campaigning voice for change”.

Nancy, below, took up her post on Monday, having previously served as acting group editor for Johnston Press’ North Midlands newspapers. She previously worked at The Star between 2007 and 2013, before becoming deputy editor of the Derbyshire Times.

Nancy published an editorial on her first day in the job under the title ‘Help me to launch city revolution’.

She wrote: “Sheffield is the best city in the world. But it is time to speak up and make a difference. As a Sheffielder born and bred I am sick to the back teeth of watching our big city rivals thrive and sparkle around us.

“For far too long we have witnessed Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham develop and improve – while we sit in Sheffield without a clear vision for the future.

“Their city centres are better than ours, their roads have fewer holes, their tailbacks are shorter and even their shopping centres have overtaken ours.”

Nancy went on to list some her favourite developments in Sheffield over recent decades – including its Winter Garden, Leopold Square and the English Institute of Sport.

However, she added the city needed to make better use of its empty buildings, and invited readers to talk to the newspaper about what can be done to improve Sheffield.

She added: “We are the last people who want to talk down our favourite place in the world but we are also the only ones who have the power to make a difference.

“Pick up the phone, grab a pen, send me an email. Tell me what you think should be done and how we do it. Invite me to your neighbourhood and let The Star be your campaigning voice for change.

“Yes, we Sheffielders may have a certain reputation for liking a good old moan, but enough is enough. You, me and our families love this city more than anyone. So if we don’t stand up and fight for it who will?

“It is time we stood together to do something about your Sheffield, my Sheffield, our Sheffield.”

16 comments

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  • April 15, 2016 at 8:19 am
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    All very well but she would be better off leading from the front and publishing her own ‘clear vision of the future’ with a clear plan of action to address the real issues if she wants to get locals on her side and influential people to take her seriously.
    As a ” real sheffielder ” she will know what needs doing and what the key issues are and have a plan in place to address them,point by point. all this is doing is encouraging locals to have ‘a good old moan’ which will only tell her what she presumably already knows.

    It’s the typical politicians act of highlighting the problems yet is another thing altogether actually doing something about them.

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  • April 15, 2016 at 8:32 am
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    Nancy’s piece made no mention of Sheffield City Council, surely the body primarily responsible for allowing the city to fall behind (in her eyes at least) others.
    That seems a bit strange, but she clearly believes she can achieve as a newspaper editor what successive council chief executives and politicians have failed to do.
    An interesting outlook, but one surely to end in disappointment?

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  • April 15, 2016 at 10:35 am
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    A half-baked plan to get your picture on the front page?
    It seems confused as a concept. Can’t really see it pulling in any readers.

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  • April 15, 2016 at 10:46 am
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    Great to make such grand statements as Sheffield is the greatest city in the world, just wondered on what evidence she might base this.

    A plan of action might be a better story than banging fists on the table and shouting ‘something must be done’

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  • April 15, 2016 at 11:46 am
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    Flipping heck – whatever happened to just wishing someone good luck in their new job?
    Good luck in your new job Nancy!

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  • April 15, 2016 at 12:04 pm
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    Sheffield the greatest city in the world?No its living up to it’s locally known title of The biggest Village in the World. I’m a Sheffielder but come on Nancy,we are a million years behind our local neighbours,the retail area in the City is embarrassing,walk onto the High Street after 6pm and its like a ghost town completely lacking in any atmosphere.Our football teams are second rate,and whatever happened to the City Council’s promise to acknowledge the achievement of Jessica Ennis four years ago,were still waiting,I hear similar noises are being made about Danny Willett. it’s the CITY COUNCIL she should be aiming her campaign at for allowing the City to fall so far behind

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  • April 15, 2016 at 1:46 pm
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    I agree with Confused – why not just wish her well in the new job? Why the constant need for sarcasm and bitter cynicism?
    Good luck Nancy.

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  • April 15, 2016 at 1:55 pm
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    So she’s written an editorial(that’s a rarity these days!). And she’s had a good old whinge(fair enough). But what happens next? Is she going to write a leader every single publication day? Picking up on local issues, slagging off the city council when they deserve it, offering constructive suggestion, rallying the readers, even praising success? I wrote 450 words a day(barring sickness and holidays) for 12 years–usually a couple of hours before print deadline. And yes, if you can keep it up it does, eventually, bring results. But God, it’s hard work! Best of luck, Nancy. You’ll need it!

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  • April 15, 2016 at 3:03 pm
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    Confused is right, this does all look a bit hostile. But I think its professional – not personal – hostility. In her original piece, Nancy moaned about Sheffield’s pot holes. Yet the council is spending a huge sum (£700m is it?) on tackling just that problem. Yes its a PFI project and will probably turn into a major financial black hole before the contract is up, but Nancy’s comment gives the impression she was unaware of its existence. Its a couple of years since the work started. That doesn’t inspire confidence.
    Ex JP snapper makes the valid point she should be having a pop at the city council. I suggested as much in my earlier post. Looks like she doesn’t want to make enemies over at the town hall. Again, it doesn’t inspire confidence….

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  • April 15, 2016 at 3:08 pm
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    Good luck Nancy…..but with regard to the other cities mentioned…surely they have ambitious business minded Councils to bring in investment and revenue at the expense of party politics; unlike Sheffield, whose inability to recoup outstanding rent and rates seems distinctly inadequate.

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  • April 15, 2016 at 3:13 pm
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    Well done Miss Fielder….but is not the revolution to try and stop sales sliding to the 15,000 mark…and is the Doncaster Star still for sale..or has it died quietly…………

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  • April 15, 2016 at 3:43 pm
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    Its not so much a case of posters on here not wishing her well its merely pointing out the naievty of such bold claims in what ( lets face it) is a bit of good old tub thumping to get attention and ingratiate herself and the paper with the good folk of steel city.

    Had the story been about her appointment and her pleasure at being given a role in her home city the well wishers would have come to the fore but as it is all this is doing is inviting a natural response to a half baked issue with little or no foundation in reality

    I for one wish her well as with the state of copy sales in that paper and with the lack of any real published plan or strategy in place to show the locals what difference she can make she will need all the luck in the world to make any small part of this actually happen.

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  • April 15, 2016 at 3:56 pm
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    Good luck Nancy.
    For what it’s worth, I think you’ve made a great start.
    You’ll be pilloried by the cynical, you’ll be called naive, you’ll be called attention seeking.
    But you’ve highlighted something relevant to all your readers and maybe you’ve given local people something to rally around and build on.
    Like I said, it’s a good start. Now comes the hard part of turning it into something tangible.

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  • April 20, 2016 at 4:07 pm
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    Welcome comments, nice to have a fighting force behind the paper. Seems to me there’s lots of things in Sheffield all taking on similar issues that the council has failed to, like Our Favourite Places with the positivity (rare in Sheffield publications!) and the tourist info (again rare – do we even have a tourist information office?), and Now Then Magazine is a critical voice of the people, if they joined together in some way with the paper as well then their volume together would be much louder. The council won’t be able to keep its eyes closed to the issues, positive and negative, much longer.

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