We start the story of how the Evening Press reaches our readers - and reveal how our supporters include Tony Blair himself

THE first stage in putting together any newspaper is gathering relevant and interesting stories.

At the Evening Press, we have a team of news and sports reporters and feature writers who are responsible for producing the journalistic content of the paper.

Stories can come from all sorts of sources throughout the day or night and reporters work to tight deadlines to ensure the paper is as up to date as possible.

News reporters write their stories using Microsoft Word on a system called Scribe then pass them through to the newsdesk where a team led by News Editor Francine Clee checks them for sense and accuracy.

Next, stories go to the sub-editors, led by Steve Nelson, who fit the story into pages they have designed using QuarkXPress, and write a headline.

Sport and features departments write and sub-edit all their own pages.

Any good story needs to be illustrated with images and these are the responsibility of Martin Oates, Assistant Editor, and his team of photographers.

The pictures system is completely digital, which has done away with the need for lengthy processing and gives photographers the option to wire their images back to the newsroom instantly.

Graphics can also be added to liven up a story and these are created by Lisa Cook, Senior Graphics Artist, and her team.

Message From The Prime Minister For Local Newspaper Week

WE live in an age of international travel, business and communications which, even a generation ago, would have been virtually impossible to imagine. And yet despite our much broader horizons, our attachment to our local town and neighbourhood remains extraordinarily strong.

I'm told that over half of us still live within a 30-minute journey of our birthplace. And surveys suggest that every important element of a person's life - where they work, shop, study and enjoy themselves - remains largely within a few miles of home.

I believe, too, that the importance of community has got stronger not weaker in recent years. There is a renewed pride in local achievements and successes and a stronger need to be involved in the life of your neighbourhood.

I think this helps explain the renaissance of local newspapers in this country. The best of our local papers - and there are many, many examples covering from our biggest cities to our most rural areas - play a vital role in reflecting and building the unique character and values of the community they serve.

This growing sense of community drives a growing thirst for local news and information and strengthens the role of Britain's 1,300 regional and local newspapers. Our regional press, of course, remains the backbone of this country's media with 40 million people reading their local paper every week.

All politicians recognise the importance of local newspapers to them and their communities. They know local papers are more trusted than any other media because you are much closer to your readers who hold you to account for what you publish.

Campaigning and effective local papers also help us do our jobs better, ensuring we don't lose sight of the issues that matter. They help, too, hold us to account for what we do and what we don't.

It's part of the reason why healthy local papers are so important both to a healthy democracy and vibrant communities. And it's why I'm delighted again to give my support and congratulations to all local papers and their readers during Local Newspaper Week.