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Journalists get new home as publisher reopens another office

Journalists have been given a new permanent newsroom as a publisher continues to reverse its previous trend of office closures.

Staff working on Reach plc website Gloucestershire Live have been given the space as part of a deal with the University of Gloucestershire which will also involve them mentoring journalism students.

Under the plan, the journalists will be made associate staff members at the university and will be joined each week by students on the NCTJ-accredited course, who will attend morning conference to pitch their own stories.

The move to The Park campus, in Cheltenham, comes after Reach announced the closure of all bar 15 of its offices across the country in 2020, leaving Gloucestershire Live staff facing a trip to Bristol to work from their nearest available newsroom.

Gloucestershire Live journalists in their new home

Gloucestershire Live journalists in their new home

Reach’s Nottingham newsroom has also since closed, but office spaces have since been reopened in Leicester, Lincoln and Middlesbrough under similar partnerships with local universities.

Edd Moore, audience and content director for the Reach titles in the South-West of England, said: “Remote working has given our journalists the freedom to be based back on their patches and connect with their communities in a more grassroots way, particularly since the onset of the pandemic.

“However, nothing can replace the buzz and collaborative spirit of a newsroom and it’s been hugely beneficial for our talented Gloucestershire Live team to work physically alongside each other once more.

“I’d like to thank the University of Gloucestershire for being so welcoming and we look forward to working alongside some of their students – the journalists of the future – as this partnership continues.”

The scheme in Gloucestershire had previously been run on a pilot basis, with 12 students spending five weeks on attachment to Gloucestershire Live on a rota basis.

The pilot prompted a call from Paul Wiltshire, who teaches at the university, for regional press bosses to make physical meetings between journalists a “priority” after a raft of office closures across the industry.

Paul’s colleague Sophie Flowers, who joined UoG from Gloucestershire Live two years ago, said: “It was fantastic to see how our students last year gained confidence when they worked with Gloucestershire Live reporters here on campus.

“Now we’re offering even more opportunities for students to see how a real newsroom works and get valuable experience working with real journalists.

“It’s also heartening to see the Gloucestershire Live reporters and editors benefitting from a collaborative space to work in face-to-face.”