Editor’s comment: We’re only as good as our readers...

Gazette deputy editor Damien Lucas
Gazette deputy editor Damien Lucas

After being so kindly introduced by editor Roger Hawes last week, I just wanted to say ‘hello’ and show my face so to speak to you readers.

I have already been hugely impressed by the amount of news, both hard and community-minded, that flows into the Gazette throughout the week.

Coming from our newspapers in Aylesbury, there is a very similar passion for local news which nowadays is so important in this era of what they are calling ‘citizen journalism’.

Now more than ever before in the history of newspapers, we are only as good as our readers. Based on that theory we’re in pretty good shape.

There is so much content out there and the decision I have to make is the best way to get it out to as many people as possible each week.

One thing I am striving to do from the off is push as much relevant content into the respective papers as possible.

In the last couple of weeks I have increased the number of Berkhamsted and Tring Gazette-specific pages which I hope will please readers of both that paper and the Hemel Hempstead Gazette.

While people want to know what is going on in our nearby towns and villages I recognise how important it is to give unique content to both papers.

This may not always be easy but with the help of our readers sending us pictures, reports, community news, tip-offs and of course letters it helps us maintain very separate identities for the titles.

Two areas I am very keen to improve is the website and Facebook page offering.

More and more people use our websites each month and our combined readership, as alluded to by editor Roger Hawes last week, has never been stronger.

We will be bringing you a stronger offering of news online, with the focus on breaking and up to the minute news in line with a 24-hour newsroom.

This will also be filtered live to our Facebook page where readers can share our stories easily and generate healthy debates on the issues in your area.

Twitter is also key in gathering news as is email so my plea to our readers is to keep us informed however and whenever you can. You are our eyes and ears. You can contact me directly at damien.lucas@jpress.co.uk