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Reporter leaves hometown paper after 25 years in journalism

Liz CoatesA reporter has said farewell to her hometown newspaper after a quarter of a century in journalism.

Liz Coates has announced her departure from the Great Yarmouth Mercury in order to take up an as-yet-undisclosed “new challenge”.

Liz, pictured, began her career with the Mercury after leaving university, initially “hoping for a way in” to the newsroom from the advertising department.

She started out as a reporter in 1997 and also worked for the Mercury’s Archant sister daily the Eastern Daily Press during her career.  Both titles are now owned by Newsquest.

In a farewell piece, Liz wrote: “At the time the paper was still recovering from its move from broadsheet to ‘compact’ sized – we weren’t allowed to say tabloid.

“I worked for the department that helped produce a women’s section called La Vista, occasionally writing articles and also submitting the odd, awful travel feature the editors politely published. But my ‘back door’ entry plan worked.

“My first posting to Yarmouth was brief. After that I joined the team in Cromer under chief reporter Richard Batson, a brilliant writer who taught me that people were at the heart of every story.”

Liz went on to note that “despite all the changes, people still want a trusted news source” from their local paper.

She added: “They want their newspapers to reflect their community, share their highs and lows, and give them reliable information and sometimes make them laugh – and, hopefully, I have been a small part in providing that service.

“Many of the amazing people I have met and worked with I will take with me as friends, so it’s more of a sidestep than a final goodbye and I thank everyone who has trusted me with their stories along the way. It has been a real privilege to be part of this community.”