AddThis SmartLayers

Hyperlocal vows to keep publishing despite ‘making a loss’

A hyperlocal title which has had to furlough its sales staff has vowed to continue publishing despite admitting it will make a loss.

The Mendip Times says it will keep going through the coronavirus pandemic as it prepares to celebrate its 15th anniversary this month.

Its 56-page May issue has a dozen pages showing how its patch has responded and includes all of its regular contributors, including an assessment by health contributor Dr Phil Hammond.

With sales staff on furlough leave, owner Steve Egginton and his wife Annie produced the magazine from home, working remotely with co-editor Mark Adler and designer Steve Henderson.

Mendip Times

Steve, a former director of the Society of Editors and South West chairman, said: “The community’s response to this emergency, along with health and other services, has been phenomenal and we felt a duty to reflect that, encouraged by many of our main advertisers who are continuing to support us.

“We’ll make a loss, but we will get through this. Local ownership has to be the key to the survival of local publications, with their roots firmly embedded in the communities they serve.”

The Times launched the free monthly community magazine in June 2005, covering the Mendip Hills in Somerset and surrounding areas.

The Somerset title has a normal print run of 23,500.

ReachlogolargeReach plc has confirmed its annual general meeting will go ahead next week at the office of one of its regional titles.

The AGM will be held at 10.30am on Thursday at Stoke Mill, Guildford, where Surrey Live and its associated print titles are based.

The meeting will be held behind closed doors and shareholders will not be admitted, although they will be able to listen to proceedings via Reach’s website.

In a statement, Reach said: “The company would like to thank shareholders for their understanding in these exceptional circumstances.”

Julian Knight MP, chair of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, has called for tougher measures to hold platforms carrying misinformation to account.

He has called for his committee to have statutory power of veto over the chief executive of any independent regulator of the social media sector.

Citing the misinformation perpetuated during the current Covid-19 crisis, Mr Knight said: “To save lives and protect the NHS, we must make sure we can trust the information we receive.

“It’s time for Silicon Valley to play its part.”

You can read all our coronavirus-related stories here.


You can follow all replies to this entry through the comments feed.
  • May 1, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    “Local ownership has to be the key to the survival of local publications, with their roots firmly embedded in the communities they serve.”
    And for me that’s the core of any successful community publisher,living breathing and truly representing the people in the area they serve, something the main players pushed aside years ago in the quest to monetise digital, a quest seemingly without end
    All good wishes to Steve and Annie on bouncing back, in sure your readers and advertisers will continue to support you

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(22)
  • May 6, 2020 at 10:58 am

    Phillip is absolutely correct. Local journalism has to have a very strong local connection to be valid. Without that connection, reporting can be uninformed of local views and even embarrassingly incorrect about local geography and history.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)