Iliffe Media, the family-owned publisher behind the Rutland and Stamford Mercury, is backing Local Newspaper Week, which began on Monday.
The theme this year of the annual event, which showcases the role of local newspapers and associated websites, is Making a Difference, something Iliffe Media chief executive Edward Iliffe is very keen to do.
The company bought the Rutland and Stamford Mercury in January from Johnston Press along with 12 other titles, including the Rutland Times and the Bourne Local.
Mr Iliffe said:”We were delighted to have acquired the Mercury and the other well-respected local newspapers. Iliffe Media, with its long heritage as an independent family-run business, firmly believes in the future of local newspaper publishing across all platforms.
“This deal is a natural extension and a good geographical fit. We are delighted to now be printing the Mercury on our award-winning press in Cambridge.”
Iliffe Media is backing the Mercury and other titles by investing in local journalism, including recruiting more reporters, backing more community involvement, campaigning for the community and against ‘fake news’ and expanding the commercial team.
Since the Mercury was bought by Iliffe Media, two new reporters - Brendan McFadden and Ian Noble have joined our team and we have also hosted a successful networking evening to share our plans for the future with businesses in the Stamford area.
The Cambridge Independent launched by Iliffe in September last year, was last month named Weekly Newspaper of the Year at the News awards 2017, which aim to highlight excellence in print and digital production.
Also last month, Iliffe Media acquired Kent’s market-leading KM Media Group, which publishes nine paid-for and four free newspapers, including the Kent Messenger Series, the current Regional Press Awards Newspaper of the Year, and the Kentish Gazette, established in 1717.
Its newspapers are among the UK’s biggest-sellers and chairman Geraldine Allinson, who will remain fully involved in the group, commented: “The Iliffe family have extensive experience and heritage, dating back to 1891, and have very similar values and ethos to us. We believe they will be great custodians of these titles.”
Local Newspaper Week is organised by the News Media Association, which was created in 2014 by a merger between the Newspaper Society and the Newspaper Publishers’ Association. which represents national newspaper publishers.