The C&W Herald
At the April meeting of Asby WI the President, Annie Johnson, welcomed Emily Atherton, the News Editor of the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald, who gave members a whistle stop tour of the newspaper, past, present and future. She explained she had only taken over this particular role 18 months ago, although she had spent most of her journalistic career working at the Herald, she initially found her new role quite daunting, especially having to deal with over 400 emails a day.
The paper was founded in 1860 by Thomas Hodgson and was still owned by a board of Directors and shareholders rather than a large multi national company, ensuring it was still very much a ‘local’ paper. Every issue since then is stored in an archive along with thousands of photographs. Members were interested to handle original printing blocks and hear that some advertisers in the original edition were still in existence today, for example J.J. Graham of Penrith.
There had been more changes during the last 20years or so due to rapid advances in technology and digital photography than in the previous 135 years. There were now 4 people employed in the printing works instead of 30; computers had changed the whole process. The paper covers an area of 800 square miles in the Eden Valley and has good relationships with various authorities and relies heavily on villagers sending reports and photographs for a wide variety of events.
Emily assured members that the future of the paper was looking assured as it seems to provide what the people of the area want. When she had finished answering members’ questions she handed out free key rings and provided sets of notelets for raffle prizes.
Valerie Cooper gave a vote of thanks to Emily for providing a fascinating insight into our much loved Herald.
Emily judged the competition for ”an old newspaper cutting” which was won by Gwen Hadrill with Rachel Forrest second. Gwen also won first prize in the raffle with a guest winning the second prize.
June Sowerby and Valerie Cooper were hostesses for the evening.