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I am an experienced online journalist and political editor working for Trinity Mirror papers in the West Midlands and the North East, based in the Parliamentary Press Gallery at Westminster.

I understand how government, Parliament and political parties work. I am equally at home digging out stories from data, social media or interviews as I am covering major set-piece events or explaining how things work to readers.

I produce content which is shareable and promote my work on social media.

My experience with content management systems and knowledge of HTML allows me to include charts, embedded content from third parties and formatting in my work, to create content which encourages interaction and keeps readers on the page.

Contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (but please send press releases to my work email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as this is the email I monitor during working hours).

Farewell then The Stirrer, an independent news website which is closing after four years.

The Stirrer covered Birmingham and the Black Country, reporting mainly on politics.

It's been a huge success in generating original stories, becoming required reading among the West Midlands' political and media classes and developing a loyal community, which hangs out at the site's active forum.

Editor Adrian Goldberg was less successful in achieving what I understand was his original aim, which was to earn a living from the site and, eventually, to employ others.

Adrian was a journalist working for the BBC before he left to launch The Stirrer. He's now quitting the site to head back to the BBC as a Radio Five Live presenter.

Partner in crime Andy Goff - known to The Stirrer community as "webmaster" - is apparently standing down at the same time.

Adrian was a pioneer in setting up an independent local niche news site.

The site failed to follow conventional wisdom in many respects, calling itself a web site rather than a web log or blog, and providing readers with a forum rather than a comment facility.

But the forum was a great success, allowing readers to break stories - which Adrian could then promote to the front page - rather than simply responding to stories published by the site's official writers.

It is currently being used by members of The Stirrer's community who want to create some sort of replacement for the site once Adrian and Andy Goff quit.

Again, I am not sure a site which simply allowed reader comments on stories could ever create a community with this level of cohesion and loyalty (although forums do have downsides, such as a high barrier to entry - you need to register - and a tendency to be unfriendly to newcomers).

One thing the end of The Stirrer does demonstrate is that getting to grips with internet publishing or "social media", finding and exploiting a niche, building a community and being entrepreneurial doesn't in itself answer a question most journalists need to face at some point, which is how to pay the mortgage.

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About me

Jonathan Walker Political Editor of the Birmingham Post, Birmingham Mail, Sunday Mercury, Coventry Telegraph, Newcastle Journal, Newcastle Chronicle and Sunday Sun.

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Email jonathan@walkerjon.com (but please send press releases to my work email which is
jon.walker@trinitymirror.com, as this is the email I monitor during working hours).

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