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‘Here’s to the next 200 years!’ Editor toasts newspaper’s future

Gary LawrenceA weekly newspaper editor has toasted the next 200 years of his title being in production.

Gary Lawrence, of the Wiltshire Gazette & Herald, has written an editorial praising the paper as it marks 200 years since it first went to print.

The Gazette & Herald is marking the anniversary throughout 2016, with a new charity campaign having been launched in January – the same month a party was held to mark the event.

Gary, pictured above left, has edited the title for 17 years, and first began working there in 1993.

He wrote: “In my time I have been called a Tory stooge, a liberal sympathiser and a closet red so I think that proves we have trodden a fairly central path.

“I’ve also been accused of trying to turn the Gazette into The Sun, being too highbrow and forgetting that it is a rural newspaper. I am also convinced we have the power to make our community a better place.

“In my time at the Gazette we have campaigned against the closure of leisure centres, fought to retain RAF Lyneham as a military concern and railed against the gradual decline of our health services.

“We have reunited long lost siblings, friends and helped people recover possessions. Our stories have helped the police solve crimes and our investigations have brought criminals to justice.”

Gary also used the editorial to discuss the role of the internet in modern journalism.

He added: “We can react to stories so much more quickly now. There is nothing so frustrating for a reporter, or an editor, to come across a story on a Monday knowing that you have it to yourself but won’t be able to keep it that way until publication day on a Thursday.

“Now the Gazette’s reporters can show they are every bit as sharp as their daily, TV and radio counterparts by breaking their stories online immediately. We can also interact with our readers so much more easily now. They can comment on stories or react on Facebook and Twitter (and believe me they do).

“Sometimes it isn’t always positive and occasionally it is downright rude but that’s good too. All feedback is good feedback and it helps us judge the worth of a story and also gauge when we have not treated it in the right way.

“We have an average weekly audience of more than 85,000 people in print and online, that’s more than the paper ever had in its newsprint heyday.

“Wiltshire is not only an incredibly beautiful place it is also a fantastically optimistic one. I don’t doubt it has a wonderful future ahead and I am absolutely convinced the Gazette & Herald, Wiltshire’s Gazette & Herald, is going to be part of it. Here’s to the next 200 years.”


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  • March 14, 2016 at 10:21 am

    200 years?
    I can’t imagine what the picture in the regional press will be like in 2-5 years let alone 200!
    Perhaps someone would care to hazard a guess ( thoughts on what it’ll look like in 2-5 years will do)

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