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Specialist duo leave regional daily to go freelance

Linda StewartTwo long-serving specialist reporters at a regional daily have left the paper to go freelance.

Belfast Telegraph environment correspondent Linda Stewart, pictured, has left after 11 years with the Independent News and Media-owned title, eight of them in her current role.

Meanwhile Victoria O’Hara has also worked her last day at the Bel Tel after 12 years in which she has worked as a senior reporter, Belfast city reporter and latterly health correspondent.

Both women now plan to work as freelances.

Linda began her career at the Tyrone Constitution & Strabane Weekly News in 1999 before moving to the Impartial Reporter.

After a spell of freelancing she joined INM as a staff reporter in 2005.

Other recent job moves in the regional press include:

  • Martin Shaw has stepped up from deputy content editor to become news editor at the Huddersfield Daily Examiner.
  • Louise Hepburn is leaving her role as West Norfolk reporter at the Eastern Daily Press tomorrow to join a local online marketing firm as a creative content specialist.
  • Sam Russell, previously a senior reporter at the EDP, has been appointed regional reporter, East Anglia at the Press Association.
  • Lifestyle editor Ray Philp has left the staff of The Scotsman.
  • Sarah Robinson has been appointed chief reporter at the Weston Mercury & North Somerset Times websites.
  • Chester Chronicle and Ellesmere Port Pioneer sports reporter Jim Green has left the papers.
  • Gael Stigant has moved from the role of deputy head of multimedia at Sheffield daliy The Star to become head of news at the Yorkshire Evening Post.
  • Katie French has been appointed political correspondent at Exeter weekly the Express & Echo. She was previously a reporter at the Mid Devon Gazette.
  • Estel Farell-Roig has been appointed as a reporter at the South Wales Argus.
  • Jeff Travis has left his role as reporter at Portsmouth daily The News to become a PR and media consultant.
  • Graeme Lafferty has left his role as senior sports reporter at the Alloa Advertiser to take on a media relations role at Ingen Technical.  However he will continue to cover the club on a freelance basis for the paper.
  • Debra Fox has been promoted from the role of digital reporter to social media editor at Johnston Press North East.
  • Rebecca Jones has left her role as senior journalist at the South Wales Evening Post to join Welsh Water as a communications officer.
  • The Herald & Times Group has appointed Stewart Weir as head of sport covering The Herald, Evening Times, Sunday Herald and The National.

On the move yourself? Email us at with the details.


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  • August 4, 2016 at 6:10 am

    The talent drain continues, last one out the the lights off

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  • August 5, 2016 at 12:12 am

    11 and 12 years are classed as long serving now? It beggars belief. And maybe HTFP could enlighten us on the definition of ‘left’. Own choice? Pushed? Voluntary redundancy?
    Answers on a postcard to………..

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  • August 8, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Actually, Toggie, 11 and 12 years’ servitude is not bad at all. How many newbies these days are going to be able to thump their chests and claim a decade’s worth of experience in newsroom along the road a bit?
    As you say, answers on a postcard…

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