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Acting editor steps up to take permanent charge of regional daily

Ben Lowry 1The acting editor of a regional daily has been appointed to the role on a permanent basis.

The Belfast News Letter has officially unveiled Ben Lowry as its new editor after he spent the summer months in charge of the newspaper on an interim basis.

He had been running the News Letter since his predecessor Alistair Bushe left to become Reach plc’s senior editor in Ireland.

Ben, pictured, joined the News Letter from the Belfast Telegraph in 2007 and had spent the past eight years as deputy editor at the JPIMedia-owned daily.

In a message to readers after his appointment, Ben said: “When I joined in 2007 we were aged 269, and our 300th anniversary seemed far into the future. It does not seem so far now — and we will travel on towards that date in September 2037.

“It is an honour to become editor of the world’s oldest English language daily newspaper — and a sobering one, because there is a long heritage to protect.

“I now lead a small but dedicated team of talented News Letter journalists.

“The title would not be here without your support as regular readers — and we know from the feedback how dedicated you are.

“In particular our bumper Saturday edition is very popular, with the much loved Farming Life, and a host of other elements — news, politics, sport, columnists such as Owen Polley and Sandra Chapman, Billy Kennedy’s churches page.”

Ben went on to urge readers to “continue to support our reportage”.

He added: “One of my early memories from the 1970s is of my grandparents in south Belfast (originally from Randalstown and Fermanagh) reading a broadsheet version of the News Letter with black and white photographs.

“They are long deceased but would be thrilled to know that the paper is alive and well — expanding, indeed, via digital and tablet editions.”