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Regional publisher to beef-up coverage of grassroots sport

Mark DunfordA regional publisher has unveiled an editorial restructure with the aim of boosting its coverage of grassroots sport.

JPIMedia is launching the grassroots sports team, which will involve around 30 existing reporters based at titles across England.

The project will be headed up by Mark Dunford, pictured, who is being promoted from sports editor of the company’s Sussex titles to a newly created head of community sport role.

HTFP understands other JPIMedia journalists will be promoted to more senior roles as part of the restructure, although no further details have yet been revealed.

Said Mark: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to shape a new team and am also delighted to work with so many people who are passionate about community and grassroots sport.

“As the team and structure take shape we will be looking at how we can improve our community sport offering and look at sharing relevant and important content across relevant papers and websites.”

The restructure will not affect JPIMedia’s existing sports coverage in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

The launch of the scheme comes after a number of recent developments affecting regional sports journalism.

Last month Reach plc announced it was recruiting 10 new sports journalists amid the launch of a new Liverpool FC fan website called, which will be aimed at USA-based supporters.

The company has previously launched dedicated websites to the sport including Football.London and Football Scotland.

US-based sports website The Athletic is also due to launch a UK version in the coming weeks, with a clutch of leading regional sports journalists  set to join.


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  • July 16, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    90 per cent of JPis weekly sports material is sent in by clubs. Many clubs no longer have a local staff reporter attending matches. Much of the submitted copy is either unedited or poorly edited. Football rugby and cricket club reports often ramble on for endless paragraphs without any hint of the score either in the heading or the first few paragraphs. And many of the submitted pictures would make a pro weep.
    If Mr Dunford can persuade his bosses that quality counts and employ people who know the basics of journailism (even on sport!) this bold move might just slightly stem the massive drop in newspaper sales for the company. Otherwise it will be the same dross regurgitated across the group. Good luck to all involved. Sport should be a winner for local papers.

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