Johnston Press has formed a new investigations unit bringing together existing journalists from across its portfolio of titles.
It is being led by Aasma Day, who is also an investigative reporter and lifestyle editor on the Lancashire Evening Post.
Other journalists who will work with her on investigations across the group are: Chris Burn of the Sheffield Star, Cahal Milmo of i, Ruby Kitchen of the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post, Ben Fishwick of the Portsmouth News and Philip Bradfield of the Belfast News Letter.
They will work on investigations in addition to their existing roles.
Johnston Press is the UK’s third largest regional newspaper publisher with over 200 titles across the UK.
The new team launched today with a story about its Drive for Justice investigation, which revealed that despite hundreds of convictions for causing death by dangerous driving, no-one in the UK has ever received the maximum sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment.
It reveals that drivers who kill have been sentenced to an average of four years in prison with dozens not receiving custodial sentences.
Aasma Day said: “The team feels it is crucial to ensure reports like Drive for Justice are absolutely front of mind – that though our papers and websites we’re raising awareness of the issues that really matter in our communities. These are local stories of national interest and our ambition is to pool our resources and talents to enable us to deliver quality and exclusive content on important issues that all of our readers really care about.”
Johnston Press editor in-in-chief Jeremy Clifford said: “Investigative journalism – and holding those in authority to account – is at the very core of our business and of the communities we serve. We’ve seen the impact and benefits that campaigns supported by local titles can deliver and the lives that can change.
“By sharing high quality, powerful special reports, data journalism pieces and investigations across our portfolio – which now includes the i paper – we can deliver compelling investigations and demand real results that can ultimately change the law and people’s lives.”
The story featured on the front page of the Lancashire Evening Post, Yorkshire Evening Post, Portsmouth News, Edinburgh Evening News, Scotsman, Sheffield Star, News Letter, Yorkshire Post and i.
— Chris Burn (@ChrisBurn_Star) November 22, 2016