South Scotland

Hawick editor fights corner for local newspapers

The Hawick Paper Image copyright The Hawick Paper
Image caption The first edition of the Hawick Paper came out last week

The editor of a new title launched in the Scottish Borders has said the demise of local newspapers has been "greatly exaggerated".

The first edition of the Hawick Paper was published last week.

Editor Jason Marshall said it had sold out and he believed it could continue to be successful despite a national trend of declining circulations.

He added that any town with a population of about 15,000 could support a local newspaper.

Mr Marshall took redundancy earlier this year from Johnston Press, who already produce a paper in the town - the Hawick News.

He runs the Hawick Paper along with a team of freelance reporters and a full-time advertising executive.

"We are all completely energised behind the project and it is going great guns," he said.

"We believe we have got the right formula down here to make it last.

"We are a hyper-local title - we have got our reporters on the ground every day - we believe we have got a formula to succeed."

Image copyright The Hawick Paper

He said there was still an appetite for local news.

"People want to know what is going on in their local communities and at the moment they are not being served in that regard," he said.

"It is purely down to a lack of staff, journalists simply don't have time to get out of the office these days."

Mr Marshall said the newspaper could offer a more "trusted source" than what was posted on social media.

"We have got professional journalists collating the news rather than just people sticking it up on Facebook or whatever," he said.

"We are professional in our approach to collating the news and we are convinced people will pay for that."

Mr Marshall said he also believed it was a model which could last and be successful in other areas.

"I think every town the size of Hawick with a population of 10,000 or 15,000 can easily sustain its own newspaper," he said.

"But you have got to get the formula right of local news written by local journalists who know the patch inside out."

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