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Former daily journalists launch new print title on old patch

Simon BristowA pair of former regional daily journalists have launched a print newspaper on their old patch in a new reverse-publishing venture.

Ex-Hull Daily Mail staffers Simon Bristow, left, and Rick Lyon initially set up the Hull Story as a digital-only publication in 2020.

Now it is making the transition to print with an initial print run of 10,000 copies.

It will be available on news stands at key locations with high footfall across the city, including shopping centres, community hubs and libraries, while copies have also been delivered directly to the homes of housebound residents.

The title will be published monthly with a focus on local news, business and Hull City football club, and will run alongside the website.

Simon, a former HDM court reporter who also previously worked for The Yorkshire Post, said: “It’s a proud moment, personally and professionally, to have launched our own newspaper.

“Print still has a vital role to play in local news and the newspaper and website will complement and enhance each other as we strive to reach all communities in our great city.

“Like our website, the paper aims to inform, engage, entertain and nourish, and provides an exciting new platform for our content as we continue our work with some of the best writers and photographers in the region.

The Hull Story issue 1 front Dec 2023
Added Simon: “As well as wanting to share our content more widely, we’ve launched the newspaper because there’s digital poverty in Hull and not everyone has access to a smart phone or computer.

“We’ve committed to making it a free title because we want to reach people across the city, whatever their circumstances.

“We’re also aware that in Hull, as in many other cities across the UK, the local media landscape is changing and many traditional outlets are contracting.

“That’s bad for local communities and bad for local democracy. We believe that local news matters.”

Former HDM news editor Rick added: “The response so far to the launch of the newspaper has been fantastic, both in the communities we serve and across social media.

“We’ve asked the city to get behind us and that’s exactly what it’s doing, which I think shows the demand for a free, quality local title like this in Hull. We’ve got some exciting plans for the paper and this is just the beginning.”

The launch has been welcomed by prominent figures across the city, including Hull East MP Karl Turner and Hull West and Hessle MP Emma Hardy.

Hull City Council leader Mike Ross said: “Absolutely applaud this move by the team. Agree with the comment in the article too that the shrinking landscape of local media is bad news for local democracy.”

Simon and Rick are supported by freelance contributors including local politics and history reporter Angus Young, who left the Hull Daily Mail earlier this year after 39 years’ service.

Business and features writer Phil Ascough, music journalist Russ Litten, international affairs columnist Paul Knott, arts columnist Vicky Foster, and Hull City correspondent Sam Hawcroft, who also doubles up as production editor, complete the team.