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Weekly journalist who started out on Facebook scheme dies aged 42

Katrina TaylorA weekly journalist who started her career under the Facebook-funded community news scheme has died of a brain tumour aged 42.

Tributes have been paid to Katrina Taylor, who had worked for the Mansfield Chad since 2019 after switching careers from her previous job in the leisure industry.

Initially hired under the Facebook-funded Community News Project, which aims to help local newsrooms cover underserved communities, she was given a staff job in April last year after the fixed-term contact ended.

However, the mother-of-two was diagnosed with an inoperable stage-four brain tumour just days later.

More recently, Katrina, pictured, has been in discussions about a phased, part-time return to work, but her condition deteriorated and she died on Saturday.

Chad editor Jon Ball described Katrina as “incredibly talented, courageous and caring.”

Jon told HTFP: “She loved journalism. She had a way of engaging with people and was always keen to champion a cause and give people a voice, but equally was not afraid to upset the establishment.

“Growing up in Ashfield and living in Mansfield, Katrina truly was at the heart of our community and had the biggest contacts book you have ever seen. She was ambitious and I have no doubt she could have gone as far as she wanted in journalism.

“She showed courage throughout her career – sharing deeply personal stories of sexual harassment and losing a baby – but was never more brave than dealing with her brain tumour over the last year, prior to her passing on Saturday.

“Our hearts are broken. Our thoughts remain with her family, particularly her two sons, her husband, parents and two brothers.”

Katrina was encouraged to apply for the CNP role after a chance meeting with Jon at Water Meadows Leisure Complex, where she worked as membership manager.

In 2021, she was among a number of female journalists to speak out about sexual harassment they had faced – being met with abuse by some readers as a result of her decision to go public on the issue.

Her mother Dianne told the Chad: “When the chance of journalism came, that was her dream. She loved meeting people.

“She really got people, but she particularly loved speaking to people and telling their stories.”

Katrina is survived by husband Andy, sons Findlay, 13, and Felix, six, her parents Pete and Dianne, and her brothers Rickie and Adam.

Her funeral will be held at Mansfield Crematorium on Thursday 20 July at 1.15pm, followed by a wake at Andwhynot, Leeming Street, Mansfield.