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Publishers ‘shying away’ from long-form journalism, former daily editor warns

David Powles 2022An editor who left a regional daily last month has urged publishers to stop “shying away” from long-form journalism after writing for a title launched by a former colleague.

Dave Powles has penned his first piece for The Norwich Seeker after his six-year spell in charge of the Eastern Daily Press came to an end last month, following its publisher Archant’s takeover by Newsquest.

The Seeker was also launched in September by Tom Bristow, who was investigations editor at Archant until he took a job as a fact-checker for Facebook owner Meta earlier this year.

The weekly online newsletter aims to offer “in-depth and independent local journalism” with a special focus on the environment, housing and health.

In his first piece for the Seeker, Dave, pictured, spoke to mental health campaigner Caroline Aldridge about her son, who was found dead at his home in 2014, and looked at the “terrible track record” of mental health services in Norwich.

Speaking to HTFP, Dave said: “I think it’s fantastic what Tom has set up and exactly the sort of powerful and impactful long-form digital journalism that the evidence shows there is a demand for – but all too often local publishers are shying away from providing.

“I look forward to keeping my hand in with a few more pieces and hope other journalists will support Tom in his venture.”

Dave has spent 23 years in the industry, 16 of which have been spent in various roles at the EDP and its sister daily the Norwich Evening News.

Richard Porritt, editor of the Evening News, took on the editorship of both titles following Dave’s departure.