Alex Lloyd looks at our online newspaper and our in-house design agency

THE Evening Press website,, was launched in 1998 and provides all sorts of valuable information for locals and visitors, as well as a frequently updated news service.

The website is overseen by Jon Butler, Internet Content Manager, assisted by Richard Gowland and Lucy Barrow.

They make three news uploads every day, ensuring the website has all the latest stories that are going into the paper.

They add sports stories as they get them and update the What's On guide daily.

There are also special sections devoted to Evening Press campaigns and major news events.

Users of the site will find it is much more than the paper online. Any array of services and information is on offer.

Individuals can create their own web page using CommuniGate, trace their ancestors in Family Tree or even book a holiday.

In-house design...

Media Machine is our in-house design and print agency offering a one-stop shop to clients.

A team of eight designers and three sales executives offer everything from design, print, distribution and web design on any scale.

Head of Design Services Paul Featherstone says: "We are here to serve the local business community and the idea is to take the hassle out of everything."

Media Machine has gone from strength to strength since it began in 1997 and boasts the Home Office, McDonalds and ntl:home among its clients.

Freedom Of Information Act: Protecting Your Right To Know

YOU have a right to know what goes on at local council meetings, how your local school has performed, whether your local hospital has met its targets in making more beds available, or how the police are doing at reducing car crime in your area.The good news is that a new law will make it much easier for you and your local newspaper, the Evening Press, to find out.

The "publication schemes" required by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 means that the local authorities and other public bodies such as police services, NHS bodies and education authorities in York, North and East Yorkshire will now have to make whole categories of information available to the public without any need for a specific request. And the Lord Chancellor believes that you and your Evening Press should have the chance to tell your local council, and other bodies who are subject to the new law, what kind of information you would like this to include.

Giving his backing to a Newspaper Society initiative, the Lord Chancellor is urging local authorities to consult the public and press on what information ought to be automatically to be made public and to take account of any editors' reports of the problems that their journalists may have had in the past in obtaining information, as well as their suggestions for the future.

He says, "making the Act work in the way in-tended requires input not only from public authorities, but also those seeking information from them. The media and particularly the press are well placed to make an effective contribution to this process, given the close scrutiny which they traditionally give to the activities of those in authority."

The Lord Chancellor believes greater openness is of benefit to the public authorities as well as the public: "Not only do the public gain access to much more information than previously, but public authorities also benefit, not only on cost grounds by having fewer FOI (Freedom of Information) requests to processbut also by losing any image of having something to hide'and thus strengthening the public's trust."

He points out that neither he nor the Government on their own can make FOI work: "public authorities, the Information Commissioner, the media and individuals all have vital and differing roles to play in bringing about the poten-tially huge changes the FOI Act makes possible. It is up to everyone to make sure that the changes do actually happen."

Santha Rasaiah, Political, Editorial and Regulatory Affairs director of the News-paper Society, said: "As the Lord Chancellor acknowledges, it is regional newspapers that most closely follow the developments of the public authorities and inform their readers of what is going on. Here is their opportunity to open-up public authorities, so that their journalists and readers can get whatever information they want, when they want it, by law. If the right to know' is really to mean something to everyone, then the media must do all it can to ensure that the public authorities actually consult the public, do not decide unilaterally what information will and will not be automatically available and, above all, release the maximum amount possible."