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New fortnightly newspaper launched to cover National Park

A new fortnightly newspaper covering one of the UK’s National Parks has been launched by a former international journalist.

The first issue of The Moorlander, which covers news from across Dartmoor, in Devon, went out on Saturday with an initial print run of 4,000.

The paper is free, or 20p where sold, and features 24 pages of news, features, art and entertainment including the Visitor Guide, an 8 page pull-out giving information on the towns and villages of Dartmoor.

Towns and villages where it will be available include Ashburton, Bovey Tracey, Chagford, Moretonhampstead, Okehampton and Tavistock.

The front cover of The Moorlander's first edition

The front cover of The Moorlander’s first edition

The Moorlander is the brainchild of Stuart Clarke, a journalist and press photographer of more than 40 years, who has toyed with the idea of running his own newspaper for two decades.

Stuart has previously worked for the Daily Mail, The New York Post, The Sun, the Sunday Times, Reader’s Digest, the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Express, Hello, Esquire, The Independent Review, The Australian Magazine and German GQ.

He has covered conflicts including Bosnia, Iraq, Israel and Northern Ireland during his career – as well as the election of Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

Said Stuart: “The idea for The Moorlander is about 20 years old. I saw a gap in the market and decided I wanted to try my hand at starting my own paper after working for many years in other people’s.

“Life and family got in the way and it got pushed to the back burner. After Christmas last year I decided to revive the project and started looking for people to work with me to make it happen and since then its all just fallen in to place.”

Stuart is joined by deputy editor and graphic designer Ross Tibbles, who previously worked as an advertising and page designer on Local World titles in Devon and Cornwall.

The Moorlander’s advertising sales team is comprised og Marion Stanbury and Samantha Honey-Pollock, who also writes a food column for the paper.

The e Dartmoor National Park Authority will be contributing a monthly column while Mel Stride, Conservative MP for Central Devon, will be writing for each edition.

Other contributors include TV presenter and Dartmoor resident Nick Baker and Rory Knight-Bruce who was editor of Londoner’s Diary in The Evening Standard and now writes for Horse and Hound and The Field.

Margarette Driscoll, for 28 years a writer and journalist for The Sunday Times, will be writing a column called ‘A View from the Smoke’.


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  • June 8, 2016 at 7:17 am

    As somebody who successfully followed a similar path, the best of luck.The future is independent!

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  • June 8, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Good luck to Stuart for a succesful venture
    If he’s found a niche market and has copy ( I won’t say the more pretentious ‘ content’)
    Well run independent really are the way ahead as is being shown right across the uk particularly in high quality magazines with top quality content
    All good wishes to you sir

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  • June 8, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    It’s a great idea and the best of luck to them. The industry needs people like this.

    I have to admit I was quite excited by the prospect of this, the pedigree of the people involved certainly whetted my appetite so I checked the website. I know it’s early days but here are my first impressions:

    1. Good title, as long as the areas covered identify with it (I presume they do). Nice clear masthead and I love the simple graphic of the moors.

    2. Good puffs – that was a lot of cutting out but it was worth it.

    3. The splash was a great story but, I’m sorry to say, it isn’t very well projected. The headline is just too small and is aligned with the top puff which only diminishes it still further. And the great big spaces between paragraphs in the copy make it look like it is being stretched out to fill a space. Which is ironic because the byline looks a little too squashed at the top.

    4. Now I realise that the layout probably comes from a template and there are limited options but I’d say the lines are just a couple of words too short. (I’m being really picky).

    5. The photograph is great (what else could we expect?) but it is a bit too big next the splash. It means the headline on the photograph is bigger than the main news story.

    6. I’ve never been a fan of nibs on the front. I don’t object to nibs, well done they can serve a useful purpose but here they just make the page look too busy, especially with the puffs. Two or three main stories on front would be enough.

    7. As I say I looked at the website because I was really looking forward to reading a strong news section. Got to admit was a wee bit disappointed. Don’t get me wrong it was full of great stories – genuinely great stuff, this looks like a great patch.

    8. But they failed in the delivery, still too local paper folksy, sprinkled with banalities. I really do think that even in the wilds of the Dartmoor a proper news story will work.

    9. The stories were all a little too short, it’s a complaint I keep making about most modern newspapers. People reading a newspaper are newspaper readers, they like words.

    10. There was some brilliant backgrounder info, especially the broach owner, nice bit of detail and it is a treatment that could have worked on other stories too or being folded into the body of the main story.

    11. This is how UGC should be – it has proper writers who will have something interesting and relevant to say to its readers.

    Overall, it’s got a lot of potential. I guess I’m just very particularly when it comes to what should be in a local newspaper and what audiences we should be looking to find. Best of luck with the new project. I do think this one is a winner.

    I realise that this is a first edition and I’m being overly critical it is I can assure you friendly fire, I really do think that this project has some legs and that the

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