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National news site poaches award-winning investigative journalists

Two award-winning regional investigative journalists are leaving their roles for new jobs with a national news website.

Aasma Day has revealed she will leave the Lancashire Post after 20 years to take up the new position as HuffPost UK’s North of England correspondent in September, while Archant London’s Emma Youle will join as a special correspondent.

Aasma, who holds the positions of investigative reporter and lifestyle editor at the Preston-based Post, also leads the Johnston Press investigations team, while Emma is part of Archant’s central investigations unit.

Both have won multiple awards during their careers, with Emma winning the Private Eye Paul Foot Award for investigative journalism in 2017 – an honour for which Aasma has also previously been nominated.

New HuffPost UK recruits Aasma Day, left, and Emma Youle

During her time at the Post, which she joined as a trainee reporter straight from university in August 1998, Aasma has worked in roles including consumer reporter, district reporter and health reporter.

She told HTFP: “I am incredibly excited and delighted that I will be joining HuffPost UK as north of England correspondent in September.

“Everything HuffPost is doing and their vision for the future resonates with my own views of what journalism should be about and they have a real commitment to investing in quality journalism.

“HuffPost wants to listen to people and tell the stories that matter to them. They also want to step outside the London media bubble and reach different parts of the country listening to unheard voices – something I feel is very important.

“I will of course miss all my friends and colleagues and have had a wonderful 20 years in the regional press. I am also grateful to my bosses and chiefs who have shown belief in my ideas and given me wonderful opportunities.”

“I am a great believer in the regional press which has so many talented and hardworking journalists and wish them all every success for the future.”

Emma, a former news editor at the Hampstead & Highgate Express, took up her current role in 2014 and writes for titles including Romford Recorder, Barking and Dagenham Post and Islington Gazette, as well as the Ham & High.

Her new brief at HuffPost UK will be reporting on the way political decision-making affects real lives.

She told HTFP: “I’ve had a brilliant time working in local news for the last decade and continue to be a passionate supporter and advocate for regional newspapers. From holding councils to account, to reporting on the courts, to giving communities a voice, they play a really important role in open democracy. And I still believe being a reporter on a local news beat it is among the best jobs in journalism.

“I’ve also been lucky to be given the time, space and sterling editorial support to pursue investigative reporting with Archant’s investigations unit. It has been brilliant to see regional news leading the way in investigative journalism in recent years and long may it continue.

“It is the start of a new chapter for me and I’m thrilled to be joining HuffPost UK at a time when it is making a real commitment to original and agenda-setting journalism. HuffPost UK connects with millions of readers daily and I will be delving deeper on the issues they are most passionate about.

“I can’t wait to get stuck in working alongside HuffPost’s brilliant political team, editor-in-chief Polly Curtis and head of news Jess Brammar.”

The announcement of Aasma and Emma’s appointments come as HuffPost UK takes part in a week-long project which has seen 45 of its journalists decamp from London to Birmingham for this week, in a scheme being run in association with the Birmingham Mail.

Announcing Aasma’s appointment, HuffPost UK editor-in-chief Polly Curtis posted on Twitter: “Absolutely thrilled to welcome Aasma Day as our North of England correspondent. Investigative reporter leading Johnston Press investigations unit – and a delight to work with.”

Of Emma’s appointment, Polly added: “So, so delighted that Emma Youle is joining the growing HuffPost UK team. Investigative, shoe-leather reporting that is going to make a difference.”


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  • July 3, 2018 at 9:02 am

    “Poaches” – hmm, there’s a word with dubious connotations if ever I heard one. Could it be that these two women have seized their opportunity to progress their careers in the way that they were socialised to do? Furthermore, is it possible that they have assessed the future of traditional local publishers, with their layers of non-productive dead wood, as lying between “Bob Hope and No Hope?” They probably have, you know; best wishes to both of them.

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  • July 3, 2018 at 10:33 am

    Good luck to them both, especially Emma whom I worked with for a good few years at Archant.
    She’s done a brilliant investigative job for them in London digging out eye-catching, superbly-researched national news stories time and again and her departure is a huge blow to the company.

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  • July 3, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    Hardly poaching is it? Your headline is needlessly pejorative and unfairly cynical. Good local journalists either go on to be local editors or national reporters. They’ve both obviously done good work in challenging circumstances and it’s refreshing that the noo meeja sees the benefit of experience gained on the ground.

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  • July 4, 2018 at 8:46 am

    This isn’t a case of ‘poaching’ It’s simply two journalists realising there are better, more sustainable careers other than with their current employers and taking their opportunities, looking at the ongoing rapid decline of the uk regional press you can’t blame them for moving elsewhere.
    Most of the best staff move on to fulfil their ambitions and potential these days.

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