Gloucester and Forest of Dean newspaper 'turf war erupts'

The Forester The group behind The Forester weekly newspaper is also to produce a free weekly paper for Gloucester

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A "turf war" has broken out between rival newspapers in Gloucestershire.

The Tindle Group, which produces two newspapers in the Forest of Dean, has now launched a weekly newspaper for Gloucester.

It says it is "hitting back" after Local World, which owns the Gloucester Citizen, last week launched an edition circulating in the Forest of Dean.

Local World already prints four newspapers for the county including three daily titles and one weekly.

'Direct competition'

Its Forest edition of The Citizen was first published last Wednesday and is set to be distributed to the Forest of Dean and Newent on the same day every week.

Tindle initially rolled forward its weekly publication of The Forester from Thursday to Wednesday, but has now also announced its new weekly paper for the Gloucester area.

Attracta Astley, Tindle's managing director for the Forest, said: "Just over two years after the Gloucester Citizen sold us The Forester in the Forest of Dean, yet they launched a new weekly paper in direct competition with it last week.

"As you would expect, the Forester and its sister paper The Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Review are hitting back.

"We're launching a new weekly free newspaper in Gloucester this week in direct competition with The Citizen."

Editor of The Citizen, Ian Mean, said: "The Citizen, a six-day-a-week daily paper, has been part of the fabric of Gloucester since 1876.

"We are proud of our heritage in the city and we look forward to our continued role at the heart of Gloucester's communities."

'Turf war'

Rob Brown, a journalism lecturer at the University of Gloucestershire, said this was "atypical" of the national picture in which local newspapers were struggling due to loss of advertising revenue.

"It's very heartening for someone like me, teaching the next generation of journalists, to see a good old-fashioned newspaper turf war erupting here in Gloucestershire," he said.

"The Forest of Dean in particular is quite unusual because it is still awaiting high-speed broadband, so that is probably why the battle for local attention there is taking place on the news stands rather than up in cyber space where we see a lot of hyper-local news battles breaking out."

The Forester newspaper has been in publication since 1874, making it very slightly older than The Citizen which was first published under its current name in 1876.

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