An editor has launched a weekly newspaper in direct competition with his former employer three months after his departure.
Jason took voluntary redundancy from JP in May after 30 years of service with the two newspapers, which are based in the Scottish Borders, the last nine of which were spent as editor of the News.
The Paper, pictured below, has launched with the tagline ‘owned and edited locally’ at a cover price of 90p.
It also employs a full-time advertising executive, with several freelance reporters and photographers contributing.
Jason told HTFP newsagents had already sold out and were requesting extra copies on Friday morning.
He added: “We’ve had a phenomenal reaction to the paper from townsfolk and advertisers, all of whom have backed us to the hilt. We’re a hyper-local title, with reporters on the ground in Hawick, and very affordable advertising rates.
“For what it’s worth, re the current state of the industry, people haven’t fallen out of love with newspapers, they’ve fallen out of love with what’s in them. There’s not a word in our paper today that doesn’t concern our town and that’s the only way we will succeed.”
Jason, 46, began his career as an apprentice compositor at the News in 1986, moving to the editorial department as a page designer the following year.
He eventually became a sub-editor at the newspaper before joining sister title the Southern Reporter in 2002 in the same role, serving as chief sub-editor from 2005 to 2007.
In a front page piece welcoming new readers, Jason wrote: “It’s a bright new dawn for local news coverage, and one which we feel has been long overdue. The Hawick Paper will give you a voice like no other local newspaper does, while also giving you value for money and a top-quality paper.
“It’s your newspaper, though, and we need your help to make sure we publish the stories and features on the issues that matter most to you. We’re particularly determined to throw the spotlight on all the positive things happening in Hawick and the surrounding area, and we’ll also do our best ro raise a smile where we can.
“We also believe it is important to have a strong voice reporting the news in and around Hawick and we will always challenge those in power. But more than anything we’ll do our best to celebrate the many local success stories.
“Enjoy today’s first edition, it’s been an honour and a privilege for our team to put together. None of our competitors plough the same resources into bringing you all the local news, sport and features than we do – and we aim to start as we mean to go on by delivering a cracking read for you today.”