Northern Echo to hire 30 non-journalists for ultra-local sites

Newsquest‘s Northern Echo newspaper is set to recruit 30 members of the public as contributors to its ultra-local websites as part of an expansion of the service.

The Darlington-based paper currently serves ten communities with dedicated Local Correspondent websites but is planning to launch a raft of new sites across the North East.

Each of these new sites will be staffed by members of the communities they serve with recruits given training in photography, story structure and use of the each websites content management system.

The local correspondents, who are expected to file around three pieces each week, are then mentored by a Northern Echo reporter.

Nigel Burton, assistant editor of the Echo, said: “It may not be possible to cover the whole of the North, but certainly within South Durham and parts of North Yorkshire we would be looking to have as many correspondents as we can possibly get.”

But the new writers are treated in a hands-off manner unless major issues arise, with the emphasis given to allowing them to have their own voices, Burton explained.

The newspapers launched its first community site in November last year; it now has 13 local correspondents covering areas including Cockfield, Darlington, Durham, Ferryhill, and Hutton Magna.

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