New franchise to make journalism pay

Journalism is struggling to find paid-for models in the digital era. Former Daily Star staffer Alan Barnes may have come up with one.

The sub-editor says his £23,000 salary has more than doubled thanks to launching his own hyperlocal print publication.

His Home Handbook has a 17,000 circulation and his published ever three months. It covers Leyland and it’s surrounding villages in Lancashire. The model for the handbook was set up as a franchise by journalist Peter Ward who says it’s a hybrid of a local paper and the Yellow Pages. It offers listings and profiles of local businesses.

Barnes told the Press Gazette he wanted other journalists to learn about his success “in order to send a message to other journalists that all hope is not lost with redundancies and newspaper staff culls”.

He said: “The Home Handbooks provide a great opportunity to put newspaper skills to good use and earn a decent living, with support offered by myself and Peter Ward to anyone who fancies taking on a franchise with us.”

March 22, 2016