A group of journalism students at Staffordshire University have produced a newspaper to promote political and news comment site Pits n Pots.
The unique publication, which will be delivered to some 50,000 houses across Stoke-on-Trent next week, features 16 pages of community and political news as well as features and profiles of community champions.
The initiative saw volunteers given just three weeks to assemble a team, research and create content and finally design the paper.
Andrew Bettridge, who edited the paper, said:
It was a brilliant effort by the whole team to get the paper produced in such a short space of time. It was a lot of hard work but we all had great fun working on it and we are all very proud of the finished result. I hope the people of Stoke-on Trent enjoy reading it.
“The skills we have picked up from the teaching staff at Staffordshire University have helped us to put together a slick and professional newspaper.
Mike Rawlins of the Pits n Pots website said:
“The site is run by local volunteers who write about politics and issues that they are interested in. They write because they are passionate about what they believe in.”
The project is backed by The Journalism Foundation which has been working with Pits n Pots to reprofile the site while boosting community engagement.
Head of the foundation Simon Kelner, former editor of the Independent, and managing director Charlie Burgess, formerly of the Independent and the Guardian, visited the Staffordshire University newsroom during the process.
“It was great to work with such an enthusiastic group of students who understood what The Journalism Foundation was doing. The project would not have been possible without them – and I hope they felt it was of benefit to them too. Staffordshire University were fantastic with their support.”
Jackie Gregory, senior lecturer in journalism at Staffordshire University, said:
“Around a dozen students, who all have a busy university workload, gave up many hours of their own time to produce this paper. They worked under pressure with great dedication and humour. It was a learning curve but they can be proud of the result.”