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Strikers do it better – quality local journalism

29 July 2011

Strikers at South Yorkshire Newspapers (SYN) are celebrating after their self-published newsletters scooped the Johnston Press (JP) papers for which they work.

In Doncaster, the strikers splashed news of innovative plans from the town's elected Mayor, Peter Davies, to secure a bylaw banning spitting in the town centre – a story completely missed by the Doncaster Free Press.

The Free Press also missed a crash on the runway at Doncaster airport – a story the strikers' newsletter was able to run with a picture despite the fact there are no photographers on strike.

The newsletter – News of the Don – also boasted exclusive news of job cuts at a local engineering company and an exclusive interview with former Doncaster Rovers star Sean McDaid, whose career was recently cut short by injury.

Over in Selby, the News of the Ouse hit the streets with a story about yet more disruption coming to the town's beleaguered road network and the outcry from businesses at being offered just £3 in compensation following loss of business during a recent 14-week bridge closure – the Selby Times didn't.

The strikers' newsletter also carried exclusives on moves to appoint the historic town's first ever town crier and the launch of a campaign to secure Selby its first cinema in 40 years.

The Mexborough newsletter also hit the streets with stories the JP-owned South Yorkshire Times missed, including plans for Mexborough's first ever continental market, news about a consultation on a controversial waste plant and the cancellation of a local music festival.

One striker said:

"I think the quality of this weeks' newsletters should give SYN pause for thought as they show our commitment to our readers and our communities and to quality journalism.
"That we've managed to give the 'official' papers such a thrashing over the real news this week just goes to show the power of creative journalism.
"The newsletters are being well received by the pubic in all three towns – loads of people have told us they're a much better read than the JP titles."

Tags: , newspapers, local newspapers, regional newspapers, johnston press, south yorkshire newspapers, doncaster free press, south yorkshire times, selby times, selby, doncaster, mexborough, strike