The Yorkshire Standard joins the growing ranks of independent publications looking to move into local news at a time when the big media groups are reshaping to compete in the digital age.
The launch, complete with a celebratory community cake drive, marks the start of a news service concentrated on the five regions – Kirklees, Bradford, Calderdale, Wakefield and Leeds – and is the brainchild of University of Huddersfield graduate Hasan Faridi.
“This comes in the form of the Yorkshire Standard, a countywide online newspaper.”
The launch content includes a charity appeal to help a child in Leeds and a video news report about a community kitchen in Bradford as well as offering photographic sales and a lifestyle section.
It all looks very similar to a local newspaper, but Faridi says there is an important difference.
“Our strong point is that we are community-centred, and focus on all sorts of news from within West Yorkshire, be it local news and business to music and films.
“We also, don’t work the way various news sources run, by publishing sensational stories of death and crime to ‘sell’ news. We do however, highlight issues that are relevant.”
Faridi said he was very pleased with the level of audience achieved on the first two days of the operation with more than 2,500 unique visitors in one day.
The publication will rely on volunteer contributors – currently around a dozen – although Faridi hopes the site could eventually hire staff.