AddThis SmartLayers

Editor steps down from local paper to take new role with publisher

James CracknellAn editor is stepping down from running a local newspaper to concentrate on developing an independent publisher’s online presence.

James Cracknell is leaving the Waltham Forest Echo after five years in charge to take on a wider role with Social Spider, the community interest company that owns the title.

James, pictured, will continue editing the Echo’s sister title the Enfield Dispatch, which was launched two years ago, in his new role.

A new editor is being sought for the Echo, and the post is being advertised on HTFP here.

Reflecting on his time in charge of the monthly title, James said it had been a “really great paper to work for”.

He told HTFP: “We’re the go-to source for Waltham Forest news and that’s quite a responsibility, but I’m happy knowing I’m leaving the paper in a good place financially.

“This calendar year we’ve just managed to get advertising up to a level where we relatively consistently break even.

“There have definitely been periods in the last five years where we’ve struggled to make ends meet, but we’ve plugged away and got to a stable position for the paper.”

James began his career on the Stratford Herald in 2007 and has also worked for titles including the Uxbridge Gazette, Harrow Observer, South London Press and Yellow Advertiser.

Under his tenure, the Echo upped its pagination from 16 to 20 and now boasts around 100 paying supporters, who give between £3 and £10 per month in exchange for free home delivery and other member benefits.

Discussing the Echo’s future, James said: “I hope it’ll continue to do the job it’s always done of holding the council to account.

“We don’t pull our punches and we criticise the council when we think they deserve it, while also providing a platform for local people to express their opinion.”

He added: “Being a monthly paper does have its limitations. If we’re uploading content to the websites every day that does increase our presence.

“Maybe one day we can look forward to increasing our publication frequency, but it is a big leap going from monthly to fortnightly.

“That would be a long term aim, I would say.”