Free weekly newspaper covering only 'good news' launched by former local press staffers in Hartlepool

A new free weekly covering Hartlepool promises to focus on “good news” from the local area.

Hartlepool Life has been set up by former Hartlepool Mail staffers and will publish an initial print run of 25,000 copies. The paper will come out on Wednesdays.

Founders include former Mail news editor Steve Hartley, picture editor Dirk Van Der Werff and newspaper sales manager Paul Healey, along with local businessmen Ian Griffiths and Leo Gillen.

Dirk told Hold The Front Page: “Our unique selling point is that we only carry good and positive news about the people of the town, and the businesses and schools in the town.

“The old saying is that good news doesn’t sell newspapers – well we’re free so it doesn’t count.”

He said writing a newspaper without all the “darkness and negativity” was a “refreshing change” for readers and staff.

The title’s focus is print with an online edition only published the day before the next print issue.

Said Dirk: “Putting news online has killed so many newspapers, including the one we all loved so dearly, so we’re not making the same mistake.”

Hartlepool Life will have 32 pages, including 15 pages of editorial and three sport. The paper is due to move into town centre offices, but its first issue was put together on a laptop in the back of a pub.

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