Our newsroom: Where readers are honest and friendly in equal measure
In this week’s ‘our newsroom’ we visit the headquarters of the Derbyshire Times in Chesterfield in the company of group editor Phil Bramley…
Tell us about your newsroom…
The DT is a small, but busy newsroom, which really punches above its weight.
What I love about working here is the great people we have on the team, who work so hard to deliver breaking news every single day — but also put out one of the country’s top-selling weeklies every Thursday.
We have a strong link with our readers which, along with the latest technology, helps us deliver the stories that matter most to our community — and we’re very much part of the fabric of the town after over 160 years of covering stories big and small.
There’s a brilliant atmosphere at the DT; we work hard and often have to deal with some heartbreaking stories, but there’s a real sense of teamwork, of everyone pulling together to produce the very best that we can.
We also make sure that, whenever we can, we have a laugh too.
It’s a great place to come to work every day.
What’s the best thing about the patch?
We’re lucky to have the stunning Peak District on our doorstep, which means we have a stunning backdrop to our stories, especially having a jewel like Chatsworth House on the patch.
What really makes the area, though, is the people who live and work here.
They are honest and let you know what they’re thinking — but so friendly and caring too.
What’s your proudest moment in the newsroom over the last 12 months?
I’m really proud of some of the campaigns that we’ve run. We launched our You Are Not Alone campaign to help deal with mental health issues, depression and suicide, because of the rising number of local tragedies we were covering where people had taken their own lives.
There’s still a stigma around these subjects, but we’ve worked with local charities and counselling groups to try to break down walls — and I’ve spoken about my own dark times and struggles with depression as part of the campaign.
The other campaign that fills me with pride is our work on the Love Your High Street initiative to help struggling town centre shops. We’ve run discount vouchers and free parking offers to help drive up footfall as part of our efforts to help alive the great shops — particularly independent ones — we have here.
What recent stories are your readers most likely to remember?
The biggest story we had in recent years was a major counter-terrorism operation in Chesterfield town centre — along with two subsequent court cases — over allegations of an Isis-inspired bomb plot.
Again, for a small reporting team, I’m really proud of the way we covered such a big story so comprehensively both digitally and in print.
If you had a couple of sentences to convince someone to work in your newsroom, what they be?
If you want to work on one of the country’s biggest weeklies, as part of a team of great reporters, this is the place to be.
With the Peak District on our doorstep and easy access to nearby cities like Sheffield, Derbyshire has the best of both worlds and is the perfect place to live and work.