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Ten jobs lost as weekly shuts after 155 years in print

Gordon BurnsTen jobs are set to be lost after a 155-year-old weekly newspaper announced its closure.

The Newry Reporter will cease publication later this month, with the last edition due to be published on 25 January.

Four journalist jobs will be lost as a result, as well as three production and three advertising and admin roles.

The Reporter, which is owned by the Hodgett family, announced its closure in a Twitter post on Wednesday.

In the statement, the paper said: “It is with the utmost regret that the Newry Reporter has to announce that after serving our local community for 155 years, the title will cease publication at the end of this month.

“The last edition will be published on Wednesday 25 January 2023.”

The Reporter has been published continuously since 1867, save for an eight-week print hiatus during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Former ITV presenter Gordon Burns, whose great-grandfather James founded the paper, told the Belfast Telegraph he was “absolutely gutted” and “upset” by the news.

Gordon, pictured, added: “My brother and I went over to Newry for the 150th anniversary in 2017.

“We went round the newspaper offices and were taken on a tour of Newry by the newspaper’s historian, where we were shown where my great grandfather lived and where the first printing offices were.

“It was a very nostalgic and emotional trip for us.

“The bosses were telling us about the difficulty of putting out a paper then and that they were worried about its future.

“I was telling them to go as far into digital as they could be because that is the future of all newspapers sadly.”

The County Down town will still be served by the Newry Democrat, which is run by Spectator Newspapers.

The SDLP’s Matthew O’Toole, who sits in the Northern Ireland Assembly, posted on Twitter: “Shocking news and a tragedy not just for the journalists and staff, but for local democracy and civic engagement in the area.

“Our crisis in local media sustainability is getting worse and it will have dire consequences.”

Last year the Banbridge Chronicle, another Hodgett-owned title, was saved from closure by Bann Media Ltd after three months of uncertainty about its future.