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Seven jobs created in regional title’s bid to create ‘engaging’ public interest news

Seven new jobs have been created amid a regional news website’s expansion which will see it focus on creating “engaging” public interest news.

Reach plc has announced the launch of a new three-strong “public awareness team” on its Yorkshire Live site – featuring a court reporter, insights reporter and investigations reporter – which will “focus on making public interest news engaging to members of the public”.

In addition, Yorkshire Live will be recruiting two trending journalists, focused on stories and information which people are searching for and talking about in real-time, to support the launch of a new Yorkshire Trending channel of the site.

An app engagement editor and new Leeds United reporter will further be taken on as the site prepares to launch a sports app dedicated to football and rugby league across Yorkshire.

One of the designs for Yorkshire Live's recent ad campaign promoting its South Yorkshire coverage

One of the designs for Yorkshire Live’s recent ad campaign promoting its South Yorkshire coverage

Neil Hodgkinson, marketplace publisher for Reach in the North East and Yorkshire, said: “We wanted to build on the initial success of Yorkshire Live and a public awareness team is something that will hopefully bring an added dimension to our commitment to quality journalism.

“Public interest journalism is at the very heart of what local journalism should be about, but it has to be read and valued by people to have a purpose.

“This team will add further depth and quality to our output and offer another voice to our communities.”

The new “public awareness team” will be joined by Stephanie Finnegan, Yorkshire Live’s Leeds Crown Court reporter and Alex Rodgers, who recently joined the team from Hull Live as parliamentary correspondent.

The new sports recruits will work alongside Leeds United editor Joe Mewis and reporter Beren Cross.

The expansion comes after Yorkshire Live launched an advertising campaign promoting its coverage of South Yorkshire in Sheffield.

The area is traditionally served by titles including JPIMedia daily The Star, in Sheffield, and weekly title the Doncaster Free Press, as well as independent newspapers including the Barnsley Chronicle and Rotherham Advertiser.

According to Comscore data, 5.1m people read content from Yorkshire Live in August.

Helen Dalby, Reach’s audience and content director for the North East and Yorkshire, said: “We pride ourselves on being first with breaking news and last to switch off in the evening.

“We have been delighted that it has taken less than six months to attract the largest digital audience in Yorkshire.

“We have done that with a Yorkshire mix of hard work, grit and determination from our brilliant team and a variety of news, entertainment and sports content that is never boring.”