Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 9 December 2020
TODAY (December 9) we are celebrating the first birthday of The Hinckley Free Press as our independent local news brand turns one year old.
The original concept for what has now became The Hinckley Free Press came on 9 December 2019 when I (Mason Moore) and then-site reporter Adam Clarke first started operating under the short-lived title of Notizie Newsdesk.
On the very same day that we though up the concept last year, we didn’t hesitate to make our first plans and attend to our first article that would be released – we were straight on it.
We took to the high street of Hinckley with a notepad and pen each to hunt for any original news stories and found 11 original news stories in two days, however, the first that we stumbled upon an advertising board for Santa’s Amazing Grotto coming to town.
Just on the same afternoon that day, we made friends with the event organisers at Hinckley BID, and The Britannia Shopping Centre, the venue the event would be hosted at just a few days from then.
We even spoke to the graphic designers responsible for the advertising media and now good site friends, Brio Media.
Until we had a website which was created just six days later on 15 November, we were still heading out to the streets as a duo to brand new stories together and had settled on the ‘Notizie’ brand name.
Like we had planned, Santa’s Grotto became our first story to hit the website, we were privileged enough to be treated to an exclusive visit inside the Grotto before the public opening for some exclusive website content by Bid bosses.
Concept and where we are now
The Hinckley Free Press was launched as a brand to serve as a digital platform to showcase original news stories from up and coming student journalists in Hinckley whose work would otherwise go unnoticed.
We decided on this as we are student journalists studying in Hinckley in a Journalism department on North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, located on Upper Bond Street which we both still attend to this day – the course is led by Dayle Crutchlow, a fantastic former Coventry Evening Telegraph writer turned-tutor.
Since its creation last year, The Hinckley Free Press has made many contacts, spoke to many press agents working for big brands and even brand new independent and local businesses to Hinckley town centre.
Throughout the course of this year, we have published a rather large and varied amount of over 200 original news stories, and we are ever so grateful for Hinckleyans taking time out of their day to read our news stories and sticking with us.
The website has transformed from being a small little ‘hidden gem’ into a well-known and locally recognised student-led news platform.
We showcase new town openings, Council and Police information, exclusive interviews with local notable people, nostalgia pieces, local achievements, going’s on, and everything in between as we aim to be first and foremost with local news.
In fact, just a few days ago, one of our site-exclusive stories which was first reported here was picked up by local newspapers such as the Derby Telegraph, Coventry Telegraph, Leicester Mercury, Hinckley Times, My London and Wales Online.
Two national newspapers gave the story some national traction and press – the story in question is the New Baron of Hinckley applying to become a place of worship.
To all of our readers, we would like to give you a big thank you for taking the time to read our articles this year. Here’s to many, many, many more years of independent local journalism from us here at The Hinckley Free Press.