Same city, different paper for new Star editor Powell

By Sarah Lagan

Sheffield Telegraph editor Alan Powell has been appointed editor of sister title the Sheffield Star .

Powell has a long history at the Star and has been acting editor at
the Johnston evening for the past three months after Peter Charlton
left to edit the company’s flagship morning The Yorkshire Post.

Powell
joined the Star in 1966. After reporting on crime and education, he
moved to the news desk, became features editor and then deputy editor
in 1989.

“The only thing I didn’t do on the paper was sport. I know it inside out,”

he said.

While
the then editor, Mike Corner, was on holiday, Powell was in charge of
the paper during its award-winning coverage of the Hillsborough
disaster.

He edited a special Sunday edition, the first in the Star ‘s history, to give full coverage of the disaster.

The
Star ‘s sister paper was originally a morning paper, the Sheffield
Morning Telegraph, but closed down. In 1989 Powell was assigned to
gather a team and reinvent the paper as a weekly tabloid, the Sheffield
Telegraph.

He recalled: “With the Telegraph there was a niche market for a quality title and we unashamedly went for that.

The
challenges will be much greater on an evening. On the Star , the niche
is only defined by geography. The challenge now is to reach all readers
and the only glue is news.

“Our research has shown we need to
keep in touch with real people. We have been focusing on getting to
grips with what bothers them. We want the real, the good, the bad and
the ugly all of which you need if you are reflecting the area.”

Powell
also believes that the paper needs to change reflecting the move from
Sheffield being an industrial steel centre towards a more diverse city.

“I think modern papers have to be in front of public opinion and have attitude.

I want the Star to be a driving force.”

Yorkshire
born, but brought up in Lancashire where he began his career on the
Burnley Express, Powell is a member of the board of the Society of
Editors and sits on the Parliamentary and Legal Committee. He also
edits the society’s Briefing newsletter.

Three years ago, he was
made an honorary doctor of Sheffield Hallam University for his services
to regional journalism and the city of Sheffield.

Comments
No comments to display

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 + 17 =

CLOSE
CLOSE