'The Shields Gazette was a permanent fixture in my family home' - editorial director Joy Yates on what the paper means to her as it turns 170

Editorial director Joy Yates
Editorial director Joy Yates

Editorial director Joy Yates explains how the Shields Gazette has been part of her life since birth as the paper marks its 170th anniversary:

"The Shields Gazette was a permanent fixture in my family home when I was growing up. Being born and bred in South Shields, it was a really big deal to be featured in ‘the paper’ in school, youth club and dance group pictures.

Related: Happy 170th birthday to the Shields Gazette: South Tyneside’s newspaper looks back on covering events across three centuries


"My mum and dad were therefore really proud when my first full-time job as a journalist was at the Gazette, and it has now been a huge part of my life for 30 years.

"And from my first day in the newsroom, it became an ambition to one day be the editor of my hometown paper. That dream was realised in 2013, and I still edit the Gazette today, along with the Sunderland Echo and Hartlepool Mail.

"I am fortunate to have a fantastic team who work tirelessly to bring our audience unrivalled news, sport, human interest and entertainment coverage of South Tyneside.

"We are very proud of our breaking news content on our website and through our social channels, and coupled with our newspaper readership we have an ever-increasing audience.

"I have met some amazing, inspirational readers, community champions and business leaders over the years, who are extremely passionate about South Tyneside.

Related: Former Shields Gazette worker who started out as messenger boy in 1940s remembers decades working for South Tyneside's newspaper

"You’ll have seen in your Gazette this week our features highlighting historic front pages over the last 170 years and the messages of support from some of our business partners and those whose individual or organisational successes we have followed.

"We’ve also looked back on some of our campaigns and of course reflected on our Best of South Tyneside Awards which recognise and honour all the incredible individuals and organisations that make our borough the fantastic place it is to work and live.

"I am proud and feel privileged to be the editor of the Gazette – and I am grateful to the Gazette team, our loyal readers and advertisers for their continuing support.

"I look forward to continue being part of our amazing Gazette family."