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Launch editor leaves city news site for senior national role

Ralph Blackburn 2022A city news website’s founding editor is leaving his role to take up a senior role with its national sister title amid a series of job moves.

Ralph Blackburn has announced his departure from London World, which he has run since it was launched by JPIMedia in September last year.

Ralph, pictured, is leaving the site to become head of news at its sister title

His appointment comes after deputy editor Dan Bird revealed he would be leaving the business to pursue a new opportunity in the Middle East, while NationalWorld assistant editor Crystal Chesters is also leaving her role to join Reuters.

Content editor Matthew Brooks will move to become search engine optimisation editor at the title, while Suswati Basu also joins in the new role of head of audience.

Suswati is an award-winning editor with significant experience in digital media at Channel 4 News and ITV News, who most recently worked in news verification at Dataminr.

She will be overseeing SEO and Trends with Matthew, as well as examining how NationalWorld can develop its original journalism and audience engagement

Speaking to HTFP, Ralph said: “I’m very proud of everything the team has achieved in the last year, breaking stories on a wide variety of issues from police misconduct to politics, housing and football.

“I think London World has been a great addition to the capital’s local media landscape, and I’m sure whoever takes over will grow the website further.”

Ralph previously worked for Archant, where he was chief reporter at the Ilford Recorder, from 2015 to 2017.

He then moved to work on PA’s robot reporting project RADAR, where he was among a team of reporters who used open government and local authority databases, and story templates, to generate automatic stories about health, crime, employment and other subjects.

From 2019 until his appointment at London World, Ralph served as chief reporter at London-based agency Triangle News Group.

A replacement for Ralph is now being sought by London World owner National World, the successor to JPIMedia.

Daniel BirdDaniel, right, is a former digital editor at the Leicester Mercury and also was head of audience for the south of England at National World, as well as having worked at the Daily Telegraph and ITV News.

He  said: “It’s been an absolute privilege to play a part in the successful launch of NationalWorld and work with such a talented team.

“I’m incredibly proud of the work that the reporters have done to highlight issues such as MPs’ second jobs, women’s safety and the cladding scandal, as well as telling important stories like the cost of living crisis and the pandemic in innovative ways.

“The site has seen staggering growth over the last year and I’m looking forward to seeing it go from strength-to-strength in the coming months.

“It was a tough decision to leave – one of the toughest in my career – but I felt now was the right time to take up a new opportunity abroad.”

Meanwhile, National World has appointed Latoya Gayle as trends, distribution and showcase editor.

Latoya, who joined lats month from MailOnline, will be writing a range of articles for regional news websites which include London World, Manchester World and Glasgow World.