Less than eight weeks after it was closed down by Tindle Newspapers, the award winning Essex weekly Yellow Advertiser newspaper is back in business with editor Mick Ferris taking over the 43-year old title.
The digital newspaper will become available exclusively online via the YA website at www.yellowad.co.uk from September.
In May of this year, the YA won the People’s Choice Campaign Award at the National Journalism Awards for its campaign to expose the truth behind a child sex sex ring in Shoebury during the 1990s.
Chief reporter Charles Thomson was also named Regional Weekly Journalist of the Year at the same ceremony in the centre of London.
Mr Ferris said: “It was ironic that just as we gained national recognition for our investigation, the title was closed down.”
“This paper has served the people of Essex since 1976 and although it was obvious that a new business model would be needed to make it financially viable, after two spells as editor here I feel very strongly that the YA has a unique place in the communities it serves.
“We have a very special relationship with our readers.”
However, there will be changes Mick added:. “The time has come to cast aside the limitations of print and the problems created by cuts in distribution to concentrate on the limitless opportunities provided by the web.
“Rather than readers wondering why they don’t get their weekly copy while the people in the next street, or even across the road do, now everyone with internet access will be able to not only see the usual daily flow of local news and sport on our website, but also continue to enjoy a weekly newspaper, designed as if in print and available to read in digital form on their laptop, desktop computer or smartphone.”
One thing Mr Ferris is determined to avoid, however, is following the growing trend in the industry of charging readers for news content.
“Larger publishers can talk all they like about doing it to invest in high quality journalism, but I think we all know by now that’s rubbish,” he said.
“Publishers don’t even care when editorial wins national awards, so putting the words journalism and investment in the same sentence would be laughable if it wasn’t so insulting.”
“The YA has been free to readers for more than 40 years. I believe they have an inalienable right to be informed so I will absolutely not be putting up a paywall and charging them for it.”
The redesigned website will occupy the same domain as before – www.yellowad.co.uk and all the original yellowad.co.uk email addresses have been reactivated.
The new MD//editor has reinstated three of the jobs lost in the closure with at least one other anticipated in the coming weeks.