It’s good to see a regional newspaper extending rather than cutting back on its coverage of agriculture and rural affairs, and that is certainly the case at The Courier in Scotland, where Guild member Ewan Pate (pictured) now has a regular 17-page section to fill every week!
The Courier has ditched the broadsheet format for its re-launch in compact form, along with a fresh design and full colour on every page. Its farming section is being expanded and also diversified to take in country pursuits and equestrian coverage.
“Having reported the news in Dundee, Angus, Perthshire and Fife for the past 200 years, it’s good to be making the news for one,” says editor Richard Neville. “The Courier is proud of its unrivalled coverage of local news, events and people, and its broad mix of Scottish, UK and international stories.”
The business of agriculture has always been a mainstay of The Courier but now it will be an extended section on a Monday to look at farming in more depth, Mr Neville explains. It will also take in the wider agricultural sector and related industries, including equestrian matters and country pursuits, diversification, new farming innovation and the wider food industry.
Agriculture editor Ewan Pate will have the assistance of a new recruit to the business team some of the time but otherwise is looking to freelance contributors to help meet the section’s objectives.
Richard Neville comments: “We have always had farming coverage, of course, but we have used the opportunity of changing our format from broadsheet to compact to increase the amount of coverage in this sector.
“Clearly, farming and the wider agri-business sector in east central Scotland is still big business and we hope to effectively reflect the fortunes of the industry,” he adds.
Publishing house DC Thomson also owns the Aberdeen-based Press & Journal, which covers northern Scotland and also has extensive farming and rural affairs content.
Both publications are typical of those that qualify for the Guild’s Stuart Seaton award for excellence in the regional coverage of agriculture and related industries. Entries for the 2012 award close on Friday, February 24. See the website awards section for details and an entry form.