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East Belfast Observer

From Academic Kids

Founded in January 2004, the East Belfast Observer which first appeared on March 4 2004, is (as of June 2004) Northern Ireland's newest newspaper. Distributed throughout east Belfast and north Down, the East Belfast Observer has a print run of 10,000.

Published weekly by East Belfast Publishing Ltd., the newspaper is relatively weak on news in comparison to regional papers, although it is strong when compared to its direct competitor, Independent News and Media's Community Telegraph. The news agenda is focussed on local issues in the various boroughs of east Belfast with a particular focus on politics and the illegal activities of loyalist paramilitary organisations.

The paper has been lauded for its coverage of local sport under the section editor, Chris Holt. Support for the local soccer team Glentoran has been particularly strong. Other sport covered by the newspaper includes rugby, hockey and notable support of youth sport and kickboxing. The newspaper has had several positive feature on the local kickboxing personality Billy Murray.

Though the newspaper has been an early success, it has been turbulent and relationships in the newsroom are known to be strained. In early June 2004 there were staff changes with reporter Alex Crumlin, formerly of the North Belfast News being made redundant. The picture desk was also closed with greater use being made of freelance contributors. It has been suggested that this has created further friction at the title.

Original Staff

  • Maurice Kinkead, editor
  • Geoffrey Ready, deputy editor
  • Chris Holt, sport editor
  • Alex Crumlin, reporter
  • Josephine Long, reporterTemplate:News-stub
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