Cards on the table: the price of The Star will be increasing today, from 65p to 70p. For the time being, I will freeze the price of subscriptions to allow people to take advantage of the lower price.
Since I arrived in 2013 I have doggedly kept the cover price down, doing my utmost to ensure the whole media package that comes out of Sheffield Newspapers represents value for money.
It’s never easy to ask loyal readers to pay more, but I do believe that after two years with no price rise whatsoever, now is the right time to ask you for a little more.
FREE: Download The Star’s new mobile app nowWhy? Because The Star has evolved into something much more than just a newspaper in the last two years; it has become a best-in-class multi-media service.
Last year Press Gazette commended The Star on the national stage for our 25-page anniversary special on the Hillsborough disaster. My brief to my journalists was to tell the untold stories of the acts heroism undertaken by the people of Sheffield on that fateful day. What we produced prompted scores of thank you notes from Sheffielders. We made the city proud that day.
Also in 2014, I stood before 700 members of Sheffield’s business community to recount the editorial decision that saw me publish the findings of one of my best investigative reporters who’d discovered that a police officer in South Yorkshire was under investigation as part of the Rotherham Child Sex Abuse scandal.
Again, the bravery of the decision and the importance of The Star’s fearless exposure of the officer being under investigation was met with words of praise from our peers across the industry, and letters of thanks to The Star from our readers for pursuing the truth without fear or favour.
Just a few weeks ago we were adjudged Best Regional Daily Newspaper across all of Yorkshire and Humberside.
The judges’ decision was strongly influenced by The Star’s editorial stance on Sheffield United’s move to bring convicted rapist Ched Evans back to the club.
In a world where anyone can say anything on social media without being held to account, it’s more important than ever that your Star fiercely defends the reputation of this city and its stakeholders, alongside its family-comes-first philosophy.
To give you an idea of how far we’ve come, having listened to what you said you wanted from your Star, here are some numbers: back in 2013 we were seeing around 25,000 people a day visiting www.thestar.co.uk. On Tuesday 1st December and Wednesday 2nd December, we attracted 120,000 and 160,000 people respectively. We’re still selling 120,000 newspapers a week!
That means we are now informing, entertaining and influencing more people than ever before.
The Star is breaking records and bagging coveted industry awards on your behalf. And, make no mistake about it, the extra five pence per day from you will be reinvested to make us better. It will help me to build a new mobile app, new website and refresh the look of your paper in 2016. I’m determined to keep The Star ahead of the competition.
It will also help me to invest in more of the journalism that compels you to write to me by way of thanks. Nothing makes my job more worthwhile than someone from the local communities we serve saying thank you.
South Yorkshire people tell me that The Star must be a thorn in the side of wrongdoers, hold public authority to account and champion the city’s standard bearers. My award-winning team of journalists - some of whom have been at The Star for over 30 years - will never flinch from these charges.
I do hope you appreciate my honesty - it’s just how I like to do things. I sincerely hope you will continue to support us. Without our readers and advertisers, The Star could not be your friend at home and your ally in battle.
As ever I value your feedback enormously. If you have any thoughts - be it a praise, grumble or a plea for me to cover an aspect of Sheffield life that I currently do not - please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org