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Journalist admits WFH was ‘challenging’ as she leaves for PR role

Hannah Hiles

A regional daily journalist who is leaving for a PR role after more than two years of working from home has admitted she missed the “sheer fun” of being in a newsroom.

Hannah Hiles, left, worked her last day at Stoke-on-Trent daily The Sentinel yesterday ahead of a move to a new comms role with a local charity.

The Sentinel has been without a newsroom base since March 2021 when publisher Reach closed all bar 15 of its offices in the UK.

Posting on X, Hannah said that working from home had been “hard going” and she was looking forward to working with in-person colleagues.

She told HTFP: “I will always love The Sentinel and firmly believe in local journalism, but I’m really looking forward to having in-person colleagues and making a positive difference in my community.

“I have found the permanent working from home quite challenging and have deeply missed the sheer fun of being in a newsroom with other journalists. There’s nothing quite like it.”

“It has been one of the great privileges of my life to work for my hometown paper The Sentinel (twice!) but I’m excited to move on to lead PR and communications for a brilliant local charity called Better Together Community Support for Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme.”

Hannah, who describes herself as a ‘news/PR boomerang’ previously worked at the Sentinel from 2001 to 2005 and Birmingham Mail in 2013-14, interspersed with stints in PR for Keele University and the British Ceramic Confederation.

Although numerous Reach journalists took voluntary redundancy at the end of November in the wake of the ongoing cutbacks at the group, Hannah’s role was not one of those put at risk.

She added: “I wasn’t put at risk in the Reach cuts and unfortunately I missed the window for taking voluntary redundancy, so I am just leaving, with hugely mixed emotions.”