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Daily editors promoted to group-wide roles in publisher’s big city push

Laura Collins 1

Two regional daily editors have been promoted to new group-wide roles as part of a publisher’s push to focus on its bigger city titles.

National World has announced Yorkshire Evening Post editor Laura Collins is to become the group’s publisher, “overseeing the strategic direction of some of [the group’s] biggest city websites”, while Nancy Fielder, who edits Sheffield daily The Star, has been appointed editor-in-chief of its city-based ‘World’ brands.

Crime reporter Claire Lewis will be promoted to editor of The Star and Joseph Keith, Laura’s former deputy, is to edit the YEP following the move.

Laura and Nancy’s promotions come after National World confirmed a restructure which will see journalism roles redeployed to bigger cities after a series of launches on patches traditionally covered by rival publishers Reach plc and Newsquest.

Thirty new digital journalist roles will be created, although a similar number of editorial posts are to be made redundant across the group.

Laura, pictured, has served the Leeds-based YEP for 15 years in roles including reporter, news editor and head of content.

She took over as editor from Hannah Thaxter in 2019.

In a farewell editorial, Laura said: “As many of you will know, the YEP is the title where I have spent the last 15 years as a reporter, news editor and, most recently, the editor.

“I have loved serving the city of Leeds, my second home, and it has been nothing but a privilege over the last three years to be able to edit the title that I first joined as a trainee reporter.

“Leeds has had a special place in my heart ever since I moved here many years ago to start university.

“It is a city that took me under its wing and that is all down to the fantastic people who make it such a special place.”

City ‘World’ titles have previously been launched by National World in Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Newcastle, putting the group in direct competition editorially with ‘Live’-branded titles owned by rival publisher Reach.

National World says Leeds and Sheffield will now be added to the same project, although they will retain their current identities online.

Discussing her new role, Laura said: “I am delighted to play such a prominent role in helping to transform and shape digital growth and audiences for the newest portfolio in National World.

“It’s been an absolute privilege to edit the Yorkshire Evening Post – the title I have worked at for most of my career in journalism for almost 15 years – during one of the most turbulent times in a generation.

“It has been a true pleasure to campaign for, champion and serve Leeds. The city and its people will always have a very special place in my heart.

“I am looking forward to working with a team of creative editors across some of the country’s biggest cities to shape digital storytelling while capturing the local voices and traits that make each of our cities so special.”

Nancy has run The Star, her hometown title, since 2016.

She said: “As a born and bred Sheffielder, it has been an absolute privilege to be the first woman to edit The Star and I am extremely grateful for all the wonderful support, kindness and stories shared by the people of Sheffield.

“Our cities deserve local journalism that champions them, that gives a platform to unheard communities, that challenges authority and that reminds everyone why they should feel proud to live there.

“I am really excited to be now working with fantastic teams of editors and reporters in brilliant cities across England and Scotland.

“We want to use their expertise and love for those cities to show what can be done when local people are given a voice to showcase their neighbourhoods.”