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ChronicleLive has helped launch a North East campaign to donate laptops to disadvantaged children being forced to learn from home during lockdown.

All schools in England have been closed until at least February half-term as part of the latest nationwide lockdown — except for vulnerable youngsters and the children of critical workers.

It means millions of pupils across the country once again have moved to online learning for the foreseeable future.

According to new analysis from the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, based on data from Ofcom and ONS, there are at least 55,000 families in the North East without access to a laptop, tablet or desktop computer. …


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Publisher Reach has returned to Buckinghamshire with the latest launch on its Live network of regional and local news site.

BuckinghamshireLive has recruited a team of five journalists as part of the title’s launch.

The new site includes the biggest news stories, features and what’s on from across the county, including Milton Keynes, High Wycombe, Aylesbury.

The BuckinghamshireLive team, made up of a content editor and three multimedia journalists, is led by editor Lucy Thorne, who also runs Berkshire Live.

Award-winning journalist, Tom Burnett, has moved from the Sentinel and Stoke-on-TrentLive to take up the role as content editor.

A former live news reporter, Tom, from Leek in Staffordshire, is no stranger to covering the biggest breaking stories. …


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An editor has banned letters criticising the Covid-19 vaccine from appearing in his newspapers.

In an editorial published on the websites of a number of papers, including the Stroud News and Journal and the Gazette series in Gloucestershire, editor Michael Purton said the seriousness of the pandemic had prompted his decision.

He wrote: “we are no longer publishing letters which make arguments against having the Covid vaccine or any other vaccines.

“Vaccinations are harmless and essential to healthcare.

“There is no scientific evidence to the contrary.

“We have always tried to provide a platform for free speech and open debate, even when that meant publishing opinions which are controversial and opposed by most people, but feel we must make an exception during the pandemic when it is vital that everybody has the vaccine in order to save lives.” …


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Public notices will soon have one online home in the UK

The local news media sector has come together to launch an industry digital portal to further promote public notices to communities and enhance local democracy by harnessing local media’s massive online audiences.

Funded by £1 million from the Google News Initiative, the project will see the creation of a common online portal containing public notices published in print by regional and local newspapers across the UK.

The project will see public notices surfaced on the main pages of local news websites, further enhancing people’s access to and understanding of important information about planning, construction, transport links, roadworks, licensing changes and the like in their local area. …


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Brendan Hughes

Belfast Live has announced the appointment of Brendan Hughes as political reporter.

Politics has always been at the heart of life in Northern Ireland and the newly created role reflects Belfast Live’s commitment to get right to the heart of politics in Northern Ireland and will encompass news and features journalism across a range of digital, print, audio and video formats.

The ex-Irish News reporter joins the Belfast Live team at a time when “there is a lot happening in the world of politics in Northern Ireland, from Brexit and all of its implications to the latest machinations at Stormont”, according to the publisher’s Audience and Content Director, Chris Sherrard. …


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Residents need vaccination centres that are just a short distance away and the thousands of local pharmacies are ideal for the purpose.

That’s the demand of a high profile campaign launched today by JPIMedia’s hundreds of newspapers and digital news sites across the country.

As the roll-out of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine continues, the Yorkshire Evening Post, Sunderland Echo, the Yorkshire Post, the Portmouth News, the Sheffield Star, Blackpool Gazette and their sister titles across the UK are urging Boris Johnson to deploy the country’s network of 11,000 pharmacies as front-line Covid vaccine centres.

The authorisation and deployment of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine only requires one initial dose, with the second coming up to 12 weeks later, and can be stored at normal fridge temperatures. …


Neil Hodgkinson is marketplace publisher for Reach PLC in Yorkshire on the North East, looks back on a year which saw the company launch YorkshireLive and hire more than 15 additional journalists in the region … during a pandemic!

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Looking back on 2020, what is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt which will be useful to you in 2021 and beyond?

For our people: A reminder of the importance of creating a supportive and inclusive team culture where you can laugh, debate, critique and create in a positive environment.

For content: The need to produce a variety of articles from the serious to the surreal and keep the audience entertained consistently. …


Pioneering People is back for a second serie and, as host Morven McIntyre explains, it’s got even more innovations and inspirations for listeners

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Laudable’s podcast celebrating innovation is back for series 2

Pioneering People, the podcast that explores what both makes and motives an entrepreneur, is back for series two.

The second series debuted last month and will run until February next month. Hosted and produced by Laudable podcast producer Morven McIntyre, the podcast features a different entrepreneur each week, from a wide range of sectors.

Guests will share their unique journeys to success, and tell stories of how their ideas turned into products that are now set to shape the future. …


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The first launch of a daily newspaper in recent memory took place yesterday, with the Oldham Times making the switch from weekly to daily.

The Newsquest title first launched in the weeks after the Greater Manchester town’s previous daily, the Oldham Chronicle, closed three years ago

Editor Steve Thompson said: “Since then, loyal readers have joined us in their thousands, both by buying the paper and visiting the website.

“We see close to half a million page views online every month, and now we’re bringing back a daily title, something a proud town like Oldham deserves.”

Monday’s first edition splashed with a campaign by the title to fight back against flytipping, urging people to join volunteer groups which pick up litter. …


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Nicola Adam, group editor at JPI North West, sees 2021 as an opportunity for journalists to reassess how they see the relationship with social media:

Looking back on 2020, what is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt which will be useful to you in 2021 and beyond?

We can adapt and roll with the punches far quicker than we ever realised.

Thinking about your newsroom or team, what will you remember most about 2020?

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Behind Local News

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