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Weekly editor hails ‘Herculean’ effort covering Shakespeare anniversary

A weekly newspaper ran a 16-page supplement and saw a huge increase in web traffic after it marked 400 years since William Shakespeare’s death.

The Stratford-upon-Avon Herald pulled out all the stops in its coverage of the commemorations, which took place in the Warwickshire town last month.

For its 30 April edition, the Herald hit the streets with a bumper 60-page (three-section) edition, pictured below, including a 16-page pullout dedicated to the Shakespeare Celebrations weekend.

The newspaper’s journalists worked throughout the weekend of 23 and 24 April to cover the visit of Prince Charles and get exclusive interviews with actors including Dame Helen Mirren, dame Judi Dench, David Suchet and Sir Trevor Nunn.

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The Herald’s website and social media channels were updated throughout the day as reporters and photographers fed back words and pictures to the deputy editor as the weekend’s events unfolded.

Over the weekend the site had 23,768 hits – compared to a weekend average of around 5,000 to 6,000 – amounting to an increase 318pc increase.

The newspaper had previous produced a 48-page supplement prior to the commemorations.

Herald editor Amanda Chalmers said: “We knew we had to step up and deliver something special and, after months of planning and a fantastic team effort, we have two products we’re incredibly proud of.

“We stood shoulder to shoulder with the national and international media in our coverage of the weekend and punched well above our weight to bring Herald readers coverage that was second to none – on all platforms.

“Herculean efforts have paid off and we can be satisfied that the Stratford Herald has honoured the town’s world famous playwright in fitting style.”

The Herald team which covered the commemorations

The Herald team which covered the commemorations