The Mid Ulster Mail is a tabloid newspaper which is in circulation around the Mid-Ulster area of Northern Ireland. It is one of the largest local newspapers in the Cookstown / Magherafelt area of Northern Ireland as it is very relevant to the area and puts a lot of emphasis on being on top of what's happening locally. The main office is in Cookstown, but they also have a sub office in Magherafelt so that means that they are always close by should anything happen in the district and they are one of the first points of contact for locals who wish to publicise any issues.
The Mid (as it is shortened to here) is recognisable in the shops by it's black and red title which spans across the top of the paper. I've always thought that they should have more of a logo, as it's basically just like a headline. It's a sans serif text- nothing special to differentiate this paper from any of the others on the shelf. However, it's not the title that is important when you're reviewing a newspaper. It's very much the content that matters. And this is where the Mail performs well.
The Mid-Ulster Mail typically contains
The first 1/3 of the paper is usually dedicated to the most important local news. For example, the A&E department of Magherafelt was closed down without much warning a few weeks back. The people were very annoyed and rightly so. The Mid-Ulster Mail has been very good in publicising the issue. It has been front page news for a few weeks now.
The Mid-Ulster mail appears to rely heavily on advertising revenue. It has advertisements on every single page. This could be irritating, but the advertisements are all from shops in the area and are often publicising very good deals, so soon you begin not to notice them, and almost treat them as another article! I would never really read the ads in a large national paper, but I always read them in the Mid-Ulster Mail.
Community News holds a small column for every local area where the locals submit news of interest. It can contain information from the times of Women's Institute meetings, or congratulations for someone who might have gotten married. I typically only read the areas where I might visit or know someone who lives there. The rest of them I just skip. I like this feature, it saves the Mail from putting really trivial information in the rest of the newspaper. People can pick and choose which part they want to read here.
A small section of news features from 10 years ago, 25 years ago, 50 years ago, 75 years ago and 100 years ago. I do like this feature because I am not originally from this area and it is nice to learn a little about the past.
The Churches section is fairly self-explanitary. It gives notice of all of the local Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist church services.
This is a pull out of what's going on in the area over the next week or two. The pubs and clubs will advertise their nights in this section. There are some articles, but mostly advertorials.
This is a section dedicated to cars, what's coming on the market, a review of what's already on the market and usually some information from local car dealers. Admittedly I skip right past this section!
Sport takes up almost the last 1/3 of the paper. The area is a pretty active one, and the Mail covers all of the popular sports. We have a Special Olympian here who is fabulous and the Mail often feature her. Soccer, Hockey, Cycling, Bowling and the GAA are covered in depth giving something for everyone and covering all sides of the community.
Throughout the paper there are loads of photographs of community events, which is one of the main reasons a lot of people buy the paper. You are always on the lookout for someone that you know. It is published by Johnston Press, and the sister papers are the Ballymena Times and the Tyrone Times. It comes out every Thursday and you will find it in a lot of the homes that you visit in this district.
I enjoy reading it. We live rurally and some of the stories can be a little quaint and silly, but it will always entertain. It is also fab for finding out what is going on at the weekends for children, or to find out how to book swimming lessons / art classes for your little ones.
It costs £1 which is a bit on the expensive side when you compare it to other papers, but there is loads in there, and it's all relevant. I'd imagine that I'll be buying it for quite some years yet.