2 minutes with: Ian Carter Editor-in-chief East Surrey and Sussex Newspapers

Will your appointment create more synergies between titles? I certainly hope so. This should give us the opportunity to operate as one team, and fully utilise all the talent we have at our various offices.

Which titles will you control?

Surrey Mirror Series, Croydon Advertiser Series, Crawley News, East Grinstead Observer, Croydon Borough Post, Sutton Borough Post, Epsom Ewell & Banstead Post, Reigate Redhill & Horley Post, Dorking Advertiser, Leatherhead Advertiser and Business News.

How can PROs be useful?

PR agencies are obviously the initial source of many stories. Having control of a number of papers, it is very clear that some simply send out identical press releases with the name of the town changed in the subject line or headline to make it appear localised, which doesn’t fool anyone.

Who actually reads their local paper?

I think everyone reads their local paper at some point, although people who have lived in the area a long while are obviously likely to feel more attachment to their community.

What are the particular strengths of regional media?

The main strength of the regional media is that they really can make a difference to people’s lives in a way the nationals can’t, be it through campaigns or investigations. People also tend to trust their local papers far more.

Who do you compete with?

Because of the size of our circulation area, it’s really the nationals we are competing with. That said, it is very rare for somebody to pick up a story before us because we have a big advantage with our local presence.

What makes a great story for you?

Quite simply, ordinary people doing extraordinary things. We’ve got a very varied news patch.

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