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Publisher launches new title after rival publication shelved

A new title has been launched to serve an area that has had its local publication shelved due to coronavirus.

Newsquest has launched the Vale Journal, a new edition of the weekly Salisbury Journal, to serve Blackmore Vale.

The move comes after Reach plc temporarily suspended publication of its free Blackmore Vale Magazine Рwhich serves the borders of Wiltshire, Dorset and Somerset Рfollowing the coronavirus outbreak.

The paid-for Journal will be available every Thursday.

Vale Journal

Announcing the new launch, publisher Bill Browne told readers: “Our newly titled Vale Journal is an edition dedicated to a region that is rich in news and community spirit.

“And for those who have known us for a long time, the truth is the Journal has never gone away, having first distributed in the region in the 1700s.

“The Salisbury Journal remains the third oldest regional weekly newspaper still in publication and it was first established in 1729. It has been in uninterrupted weekly print since 1736.

“Two World Wars and even a General Strike have failed to bring it to a halt. So, it is perhaps with no surprise that Covid-19 had no impact on us bringing news and information to our many valued readers.”

Blackmore Vale Magazine had its publication suspended in April by Reach, along with the Manchester Weekly News, Sutton Coldfield Observer, Lichfield Mercury, Midweek Visiter.

The area is still served by Reach plc’s Somerset Live website.

Bill added: “Our journalists have met the current crisis with a determination that has served our part of the media profession well over three centuries.

“Their reward is to see a readership and audience grow to a number that far exceeds anything the Journal has ever achieved before, with a weekly reach of 160,000 in April.

“We know there is a thirst still for trusted local news and that is why we have made the decision to produce a dedicated local edition of the Salisbury Journal for you. We hope in turn you will share your items of news with us.”