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Sheffield Weekly Gazette

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      23.03.2008 14:58
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      A free newspaper in Sheffield

      The Sheffield Weekly Gazette is published by Sheffield Newspapers Limited. This same Company also publishes the city's only daily newspaper, the Sheffield Star as well as a weekly sports newspaper called the Green 'Un, which is published every Saturday. Sheffield Newspaper Limited is now a division of Johnson Press, one of the UK's largest Media publishing Companies.

      The Sheffield Weekly Gazette is a newspaper that is delivered free to homes within the southern side of the city of Sheffield and also within North East Derbyshire. It has a current circulation of 119,167.

      I am not sure when this newspaper was first published but it has certainly been around for over 30 years. When I was a young child it was delivered to my parent's house and now I receive it through my letterbox every Thursday throughout the year.

      I have always enjoyed reading this newspaper and I actually look forward to receiving it. It is probably true to say that it has an added appeal because it does not cost me anything to buy and I do not even need to make a journey to acquire it.

      On average each publication contains around 35 pages of news. The format is the same each week and there are various regular features. There is also a fair amount of advertisements although these are not too excessive. It is also often packed full of leaflets and flyers for local supermarkets, loan companies, photo development services etc. Personally I generally drop these straight into my bin but I am sure that this is one of the ways in which this free newspaper generates some of its income.

      Perhaps the largest method of generating income however is through its classified sections. This section covers several pages and there is everything for sale from bric-a-brac, electrical goods and furniture etc. There is a supplement (usually 6 pages long) called the "Motor Guide" which is specially for car sales.

      The classified section generates income for the newspaper because there is a charge to place an advert within this section. Rates are highly variable depending on the type of product, but they are approximately half the cost of placing the same advert in the Sheffield Star, which has a daily circulation of approximately 180,000 copies. Therefore if you do the sums a classified advert placed in the Sheffield Weekly Gazette actually probably represents better value for money.

      The "Gazette" as it is colloquially referred to here carries a headline on its front page but this never dominates the page like that of a national tabloid and the story is invariably one of local interest rather than of national or international importance.

      Headlines are never sensational and stories are fact filled rather than dramatic. National and international stories are briefly summed up on a page 2 summary.

      Regular features that appear every week include "The Weekend TV Guide" This always occupies the middle two pages of the newspaper so it can easily be pulled out and kept handy for quick reference. This guide only covers Saturday and Sunday's TV listings with the five terrestrial channels given the largest space. The most popular Sky/Digital channels and local radio listings are also summarised.

      The back few pages are reserved for sports news but again it is only local sports news that receives coverage.

      Elsewhere there are horoscopes for the full week ahead and there is a competition page, which includes a prize crossword. This carries a prize of £10.

      As I mentioned earlier I am a fan of the Sheffield Weekly Gazette but I would find it difficult to criticise something that is both useful and free. For many people in Sheffield this is actually the only regular Newspaper that they read and it is therefore an excellent source of local information.

      Sheffield Weekly Gazette
      York Street
      Sheffield
      South Yorkshire
      S1 1PU

      Telephone - 0114 276 7676

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