The story behind The Mill, Manchester's new quality digital newspaper

A new kind of local news

The Mill was born during the lockdown and publishes thoughtful, trustworthy journalism about Greater Manchester. Our stories are delivered directly to readers as email newsletters, so you can read them without clicking on any links or peering nervously between online ads. Sign up now to start getting our quality journalism and good writing, direct to your inbox.

Why I started The Mill

The Mill was launched in June by me, Joshi Herrmann, out of a desire to create a new kind of local newspaper. I have worked as a journalist for almost a decade, including reporting for The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Evening Standard and The Spectator (you can find a few of my stories here or find me on Twitter here).

The Mill is my attempt to build a media company around readers rather than advertisers, which means focusing on quality rather than chasing clicks. (Soon you will be able to become a paying member of The Mill - details below). The Mill won’t write about celebrities or viral internet stories, and we won’t copy and paste press releases. Instead, we will dig deeper into local stories that matter - whether they are about crime, culture, business or new ideas.

Local journalism has been devastated in recent years, with thousands of journalists laid off and newspapers badly depleted - including massive cuts to regional newsrooms just this year. That means it’s harder and harder to get reliable information about the world we live in, which is frustrating for readers and bad for society. I hope The Mill can be part of the fightback.

How the site is funded

The Mill is funded by its readers via a paid membership programme. For the price of a couple of pints per month, paying members get extra members-only stories every week, including interviews, long reads and podcasts. They are also part of The Mill’s community - sharing ideas in our private Facebook group and taking part in members-only community threads about local issues.

To join them, click the button below.

The Mill’s members are founding partners in a bold new journalistic venture, supporting it to take on more investigations and hire local reporters. Manchester has a history of creating great news companies, notably The Manchester Guardian, which started here in 1821. In fact, the city’s first ever newspaper was also a newsletter - the 'Manchester News-Letter', in 1719.

Those readers who don’t become paying members will stay on the email list and will get regular stories from The Mill, so they can join the membership whenever they want to.

What has The Mill published so far?

You can find our first stories on our homepage here, including:

How can I help The Mill? 

If you like the idea of what we are doing, please tell your friends and forward them the link to this page, so they can sign themselves up, or use the button below.

Share The Mill

If you have a story you think we should be looking into, please email me at or get me on Twitter at @joshi. If you are interested in working for The Mill as a freelance or staff, please send me your ideas and your CV. 

And you can follow The Mill on Twitter, on Facebook, and on Instagram.

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