The Vale Journal was launched yesterday to provide a version of the title dedicated to the Shaftesbury, Gillingham, and Blackmore Vale area.
Its launch edition included coverage of a row going on within Shaftesbury Town Council over the behaviour of one councillor, a proposal to pedestrianise a busy local high street and the success of a local flower grower in the wake of the Covid 19 crisis.
In it, the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Bill Browne writes: “The Journal is back in place and ready to serve the inhabitants of Shaftesbury, Gillingham and the residents of the Blackmore Vale.
“Our newly titled Vale Journal is an edition dedicated to a region that is rich in news and community spirit. And for those who have known us for a long time, the truth is the Journal has never gone away, having first distributed in the region in the 1700s.
“The Salisbury Journal remains the third oldest regional weekly newspaper still in publication and it was first established in 1729. It has been in uninterrupted weekly print since 1736. Two World Wars and even a General Strike have failed to bring it to a halt. So, it is perhaps with no surprise that Covid-19 had no impact on us bringing news and information to our many valued readers.
“Our journalists have met the current crisis with a determination that has served our part of the media profession well over three centuries. Their reward is to see a readership and audience grow to a number that far exceeds anything the Journal has ever achieved before, with a weekly reach of 160,000 in April.
“We know there is a thirst still for trusted local news and that is why we have made the decision to produce a dedicated local edition of the Salisbury Journal for you.”
There are five pages of dedicated local news in The Vale Journal, following the model already in existence with another edition of the title, the Forest Journal.