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Editor bounces back from weekly’s closure with magazine launch

The editor of a weekly newspaper closed down six months a go has bounced back with the launch of a new county-wide magazine.

Steve Scoles, who edited the Northampton Herald & Post until it was shut by Trinity Mirror in November, is set to bring out the first edition of The NeneQuirer over the Easter weekend.

The NeneQuirer, named for the river that flows through Northamptonshire, will cover news, culture and sport across the county.

It will be free to pick up at various high footfall areas around the county and in many local independent businesses.

Nene Quirer

Steve, who began working on the project after the Herald & Post’s closure, said: “Big media has not served Northamptonshire well over the years. The major local newspaper publishers have reduced or removed their offer to the extent that a network of towns that used to receive a daily paper and at least one weekly free now only have one weekly paid-for in the market place.

“People tend to think this is some kind of inevitable dinosaur moment for print publications, but on the inside of these big companies the strategies are all about what is the easiest way to capture the most revenue for the least effort.

“The all-round service people get from a typical local newspaper has changed so dramatically in recent years: adverts booked via call centres, buzzfeed style generic clickbait on the websites, editors based in towns 25 miles away – the word local hardly seems appropriate. And then to have your paper taken away – not because the local economy cannot support it but because the internal economy of the publisher cannot support it – it’s the final insult.”

Steve has described the magazine as the beginnings of Northamptonshire’s own ‘slow news’ movement – saying it will feature long, thoughtful articles and columns about county people and organisations and what they are getting up to.

He added: “It feels important now to have something in the community that is locally owned and edited. I don’t need to make a fortune, I just need to make a living so I’m going to have a go.

“Businesses that book ads with us will have someone on the other end of the phone who knows that they are in Abington, Northampton, not Abingdon, Oxford. People who read our stories will be reading stories written by or about county people, not something about Milton Keynes ‘re-purposed’ by a content manager in another county.”

Prior to his time at the Herald & Post, Steve worked at the Northampton Chronicle & Echo, where he held various roles including news editor and night editor.

He was also part of the Johnston Press editorial training department and was part of the launch team for London Metro.

The Herald & Post was closed at the same time as Milton Keynes-based title OneMK and Luton on Sunday – with 11 jobs put at risk as a result.


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  • April 19, 2017 at 10:05 am

    All good wishes to Steve on this new venture, so many good ex regional press staff are making good livings in competition with their former bosses by doing all the things Steve mentions in this piece, back to basics local news coverage,good use of local contacts and a professional commercial service, hopefully too adverts designed by local staff not on the other side of the world

    Recipe for success do all good wishes to the team at NQ

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  • April 19, 2017 at 10:55 am

    Good luck to Steve and the team for the success of NQ and good to hear some positive news about another good staffer going it alone and doing well up against his ex publisher.

    Many many top quality ex regional press staff are making good stress free livings by giving local people what they want and what’s missing from the bigger publishers, notably a first class news service, a readership audience that will appeal to advertisers and ad staff working with local businesses as opposed to just selling them things of no use just to hit a target.
    Get the basics right and the readers and advertisers will surely follow.

    Long may steve and the new title flourish.

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