Former Daily Star sub-editor more than doubles salary launching local magazine

Former Daily Star sub-editor Alan Barnes says he has more than doubled his salary after launching his own local magazine.

Barnes took redundancy from his job working for Express Newspapers in Broughton in October 2014  to set up an edition of the Home Handbook covering Leyland in Lancashire and the surrounding villages.

Home Handbook was launched by former regional newspaper journalist Peter Ward in 2010 and he has described it as a cross between a local paper and the Yellow Pages, providing editorial listings and photos about local businesses.

Barnes was earning £23,000 a year for three days a week at the Daily Star, but said he has earned £60,000 in his first year editing his own edition of the Home Handbook, which operates as a franchise.

Barnes distributes a new edition of the Home Handbook every three months in a different area, with each edition having a circulation of around 17,000 copies.

He said each edition is written to a "journalistic standard" and he declines to advertise tattoo parlours, e-cigarette retailers and brothels for ethical reasons.

He said: "In a perfect world I’d still be in a bustling newsroom", but he adds that it is a "different matter when you are fighting to earn a living".

Barnes said he knows of journalists who have "ended up on the scrapheap after leaving their job either through choice or because they were pushed". He said that launching his own publication was a way of avoiding that fate.

Barnes said he wanted to to share his success story "not to blow his own trumpet but in order to send a message to other journalists that all hope is not lost with redundancies and newspaper staff culls".

He said: "The Home Handbooks provide a great opportunity to put newspaper skills to good use and earn a decent living, with support offered by myself and Peter Ward to anyone who fancies taking on a franchise with us."

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