Trinity MirrorTrinity Mirror has started reverse publishing free newspapers filled with stories gleaned from its hyper-local citizen journalism websites in the North East of England.

The Teesside Gazette established a series of experimental citizen journalism sites, based around local postcodes, in December last year.

Last month, the paper rolled out a further five, bringing the total number of sites to twenty.

Success of the pilot project has led the Gazette to now publish, and distributes free to homes, six ad-supported print newspapers that contain a mixture of Gazette editorial and citizen journalism from its leading local websites.

"We launched the hyperlocal sites and from very early-on we could see that they were doing very well and attracting more user-generated content than we thought they would.

"It seemed the logical next step to spin in out," Neil Benson, editorial director, Trinity Mirror regionals told

The popularity of these sites led to weekly print product launches for the Ingleby Barwick, Acklam and Redcar areas of Teesside - all carrying ultra-local advertising.

"The reality is that we would not have been able to populate papers at such a hyperlocal level without the content that has come to us through the micro-sites, we simply would not have the news content," Darren Thwaites, editor of the Teesside Gazette, told

"The micro-sites are populated by our own content as well as user-generated content. But thanks to the stuff we are getting in from the bloggers it has allowed us to have more content and publish three weekly and three fortnightly [papers] in the most lucrative site areas."

According to internal figures the hyperlocal sites achieved a combined 40,600 unique users in July, with 150 approved non-staff bloggers able to publish directly to the sites.

The most established sites, Thwaites added, are seeing a market penetration into roughly 30 per cent of households in the areas they cover,  with more reverse published newspapers expected to launch in the future.

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