The story behind The Mill, Manchester's new quality digital newspaper
A new kind of local news
|May 31, 2020||3||4|
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:
A long form investigation into the disappearance of three teenagers from a private school in Manchester.
A feature about the little-known life of James Watkins, a fugitive slave who came to Bolton and Manchester in the 1850s.
A news story about arrests in Rochdale as part of a new grooming investigation - a Mill exclusive which was followed up by the BBC, ITV and several newspapers.Gripping journalism.. ‘One of the artificial things about traditional journalism is how stories end. Newspapers..report something, and then..you never hear about it again.. But that’s not how life works. Stories carry on. Lives carry on. Things don’t stop when we get bored’❤️ https://t.co/LvfG1UbygZ
The Mill @ManchesterMillDisappearing students, missed clues and a secret trafficking scandal that rocked England's private schools. This week's long read from The Mill is the result of a long investigation into a spate of missing teens https://t.co/0hBvtD3Pwx
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.
If you have a story you think we should be looking into, please email me at email@example.com 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.
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