Local Heroes 2010: Sir Ray Tindle is keynote speaker

Local Heroes 2010: Future of local news conference (click on book this course)

Elder statesman of the UK regional press Sir Ray Tindle has agreed to be the keynote speaker at Local Heroes, a conference being organised by Press Gazette and Kingston University journalism department to highlight success stories and new thinking in local media on Friday, 14 May.

Tindle Newspapers was launched with £300 in the 1940s and now publishes more than 220 newspaper titles with a combined turnover in excess of £50m.

Launching four new weekly newspaper titles last month, Tindle said: “These new papers, like every copy of every paper we publish, have Churchill’s words ‘Noli Cedere’ (Never Surrender) printed upon them.

“Tindle Newspapers have bought or launched 15 titles since the recession started. We totally believe in the future of printed local newspapers – we believe in it 100 per cent.”

Also confirmed as a speaker for the conference, which is being held on 14 May at Kingston University, is Wanja Oberhof – publisher of innovative digitally printed German newspaper Niiu. The title already claims 5,000 subscribers after being launched earlier this year and uses digital printing technology to provide subscribers with a daily personalised newspaper comprising a mixture of news syndicated from various print and online sources.

Press Gazette subscribers and members of the NUJ can attend Local Heroes for £50.

To book your place click here to go through to the booking page:

Local Heroes 2010: Future of local news conference (click on book this course)

Full conference programme for Local Heroes 2010 at Kingston University:

9am – Coffee and registration

9.30am – Session one: The future’s local – ultra local

  • Sheila Prophet, former News of the World reporter turned editor ultra local news website Fulhamsw6.com, part of profitable local news network Neighbour Net.
  • James Hatts, founder and editor of profitable ultra local news website London SE1.
  • William Perrin, utra local blogging pioneer and founder of Talk About Local.
  • Jason Mawer – from Oxbury Media Services on the economics of hyperlocal. Oxbury acts as a media buying agency across a network of 10,000 ultra local publications.

10.40am-11.40am – Session two: Alternative economic models and what’s at stake

  • James Morrison, senior lecturer Kingston University, on new research which reveals the extent to which reporting of local authorities is under threat.
  • Press Association director of training Tony Johnston on proposals to create subsidised public interest-reporting agencies to cover council and courts.
  • Iain Overton, editor of the Bureau for Investigative Journalism, which launches in April with £2m of seed funding, on how his organisation which will seek to reinvigorate investigative journalism at a local level.
  • Eric Gordon, editor/proprietor of the Camden New Journal, on why he thinks independent locally owned newspapers are the future.
  • Mike Dickerson of Community Times (a network of 150 local magazines turning over £2m a year) on the franchise approach to local journalism.

Tea break

12pm-12.30pm – Keynote speaker: Sir Ray Tindle

Regional newspaper industry elder statesman Sir Ray on how his company is seeking to launch its way out of recession by launching four new weekly titles in London. And why, after 55 years in the business, he still passionately believes local newspapers have a great future.

12.30-1-45pm – Networking lunch (included in the price)

1.45-2.45pm – Session three: Local news success stories

  • Tyrone Times editor David Rankin on how he boosted paid-for circulation at his title by 6.4 per cent year on year.
  • Former Grimsby Telegraph deputy editor Nigel Lowther on launching successful independent weekly newspaper the Cleethorpes Chronicle in the teeth of the recession.
  • Betty Drummond, managing director of Champion Media, on how her company has defied the downturn to launch a string of new free newspapers in Merseyside.
  • Darren Thwaites, editor of the Evening Gazette in Teesside, on his network of ultra local websites using hundreds of local bloggers and reverse publishing web content.

2.45-3.45pm -Session four: Local news visionaries

  • Wanja Oberhof – proprietor and publisher of Niiu, a pioneering newspaper published in Berlin which uses digital printing and syndication deals to give readers a personalised daily newspaper made up of content from various print and online sources.
  • David Parkin, editor and founder of TheBusinessDesk.com, the successful network of local business news websites which now employs ten journalists in Leeds, Liverpool and Birmingham.
  • Multimedia journalist Adam Westbrook on why video could still be the answer for local news

4pm The great debate: Is it time to end the web-first free for-all for in local news?

Featuring: former Birmingham Evening Mail editor Steve Dyson, Nick Turner – head of digital content development for CN Group and Anita Syvret, former editor in chief of the Gloucestershire Echo.

5.30pm – Conference closes.

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