A new weekly newspaper which will be distributed free to almost 70,000 homes is set to be launched in a reverse publishing venture.
Bailiwick Express, which covers the Channel Islands, has announced its expansion into print after five years as a digital-only business.
The Express launched a Guernsey print edition last month, with a free distribution of 26,000, and will shortly launched in Jersey where the paper will be delivered to 42,000 residential addresses.
Express editor and co-founder James Filleul said: “Over the last few years we have built up a substantial audience for our news and classifieds website amongst islanders who want the latest local stories, set up in an authoritative and accessible way.
“It is very difficult to beat ‘online’ as a format to deliver accurate and ‘up-to-minute’ daily news stories – but we soon realised that there was also an appetite for ‘deeper’ features, analysis, commentary and investigations, which would all work online – but tended to lend themselves to a print format, which readers could return to over the course of a week.
“As well as breaking new local stories, the paper gives readers the deeper context which sits behind the daily news stories.
“We then needed to work on the distribution chain to make sure we could produce that paper, and get it into every home in the island in a timely and cost-effective way, which then ensures it has 100pc penetration of our market, at no cost to the reader.”
Express director and co-founder Mark Jackson added: “The publication is funded entirely via advertising, there is no cover charge for the reader; since it goes into every home in the island, that means we can offer advertisers a very powerful platform, which combines the assets of print advertising – using a high quality paper stock and full colour throughout – with universal penetration of our market.
“That combination of a daily news website, working in partnership with a quality weekly paper going to every home, is a media model which we are finding works well, and hope to bring to more areas of the country.
“We don’t believe there are many news websites which are starting with digital products, and then adding high circulation ‘news-led’ papers to their portfolio, in order to create the ideal mix.”
Both the new editions of the Express will be printed in Portsmouth by JPIMedia.
David Crow, managing director of JPIMedia Print Holdings Ltd, said: “We are delighted to have been part of the launch of this newspaper title for the Channel Islands from its inception. It is always great to see a new title being launched especially one of such high quality.”
Colin Archer, contract print manager for JPIMedia, added: “It has been a pleasure to work with a publisher that is passionate about their new launch and professional in their approach to making it a reality. We wish Bailiwick Express all success in the future and will do everything that we can to help make that happen.”