Hunter exits PR for Belfast paper

The Police Service of Northern Ireland’s (PSNI) director of media and communications, Austin Hunter, is returning to journalism.

Hunter is to quit his post after three years to become editor-in-chief of Unionist paper The Belfast Newsletter. He heads a department of 43 staff in a 24-hour press office. He joined the organisation when it was known as the Royal Ulster Constabulary in 2001.

Hunter started his career as a reporter at the Strabane Weekly News, moving to BBC Radio Foyld in Derry, BBC Belfast and BBC Northern Ireland, where he was security correspondent. In 1990 he joined GCAS PR and returned to the BBC in 1991 to work at its press office.

In 1999, he became political liaison officer for BBC Northern Ireland. On his new role, Hunter said: ‘There are a number of disputes in the [Protestant] community but I want the paper to become a platform for debate.’

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