Latest Stories

School Newspaper in National Media Final
Caring sister sheds locks after brother diagnosed
Soup Social for M3 Project
Veteran's Dutch Medal of Honour
School Newspaper in National Media Final

Unashamedly proud. It is fair to say that pretty much sums up my feelings and this story.

In 2009, when I was the News Editor at the Rossendale Free Press I made a suggestion to the editor that the paper work with a high school to produce a newspaper.

There was nothing original in this idea, in fact in the early 1990s I had been involved in several that were produced as inserts in the free newspaper the Rossendale Herald and Post.

The editor agreed and Fearns Community Sports College dedicated a teacher Sharin Patel to lead a group of reporters. I met with them regularly and compiled the 16 page newspaper that featured over two weeks.

Shortly afterwards, I took redundancy and was immediately taken on by Fearns as press and PR officer and to produce Fearns Chat annually.

Last year's paper - 16 pages of A4 produced in a week - was, I believe, the best yet. I had numerous teachers coming up to me to say they had read it cover to cover and it was brilliant.

Judges at the national Shine School Media Awards obviously also saw the merit and in July, along with Head Helen Stead and three of the junior journalists, I will be heading to London for the 2018 final. Fearns Chat has been shortlisted in two categories of Best Newspaper and Best Front Cover.

One comment from judges' chambers was: "I can't believe they wrote and produced all of this in just one week."

Very well done one and all.

This year's Fearns Chat will be produced on June 18-22.


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Caring sister sheds locks after brother diagnosed

A teenager whose younger brother is currently being treated for leukaemia will be having her waist-length hair cut to make wigs for children who have lost their hair to cancer.

Bryony Booth is also raising money for the Ronald McDonald Charities because her family have been able to use one of the rooms in a house provided by the charity so they have somewhere to stay while he has been in hospital.

A story on the Haslingden High School student's plans was used by the Lancashire Telegraph and the Rossendale Free Press.

To sponsor her follow this link


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Soup Social for M3 Project

Homeless charity M3 Project set up a fundraising idea to encourage people to host a Big Soup Social to get people together and raise money and awareness of the organisation.

I have worked for M3 for several years to raise awareness of the charity and I specialise in speaking to householders and young people who have been through the programme to tell their stories.

The Lancashire Telegraph used my story as a page lead, it appeared in the Rossendale Free Press and I was able to arrange for Charity Development Co-ordinator Lynn Howarth to be interviewed live on BBC Radio Lancashire's mid-morning show by Sally Naden and Brett Davison.

The charity works with homeless 16 to 21 year olds who for whatever reason are no longer able to live in the family home. M3 provides supported lodgings with householders who have a spare room and help the young person to live independently before assisting to find a secure tenancy. They also have a teenage parents project,


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Veteran's Dutch Medal of Honour

Despatch Rider Lewis Banham spent the Second World War in Europe bravely delivering messages to troops on the front line.

Now, more than 70 years later, he has been rewarded with the Dutch Liberation Medal for helping to free the Netherlands.

The 94-year-old was also reunited with the same model of bike that he rode during the war and was his constant companion. The experience brought back memories to Lewis who was only too happy to tell his tale, and I was privileged to be able to write about it.

He is a member of Haslingden-based Veterans In Communities where he enjoys the art group and going on social inclusion trips.

Here's my story on the Rossendale Free Press and the Lancashire Telegraph sites.

Photographs by William Ogden.


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image School Newspaper in National Media Final
image Caring sister sheds locks after brother diagnosed
image Soup Social for M3 Project
image Veteran's Dutch Medal of Honour

Welcome to Catherine Smyth Media

To put it simply - I tell your story

Catherine Smyth Media is a one-stop shop for Press and PR with an added specialism - creating school newspapers

HIGHLY COMMENDED in Rossendale Business Awards 2017 - Sole Trader

HIGHLY COMMENDED for Fearns Chat in National Shine School Media Awards 2017 - Best Community Initiative

Need to promote your organisation and get the message across?

I write news stories and take photographs for businesses, organisations and individuals with proven results. I have had contracts with two Rossendale high schools since 2009, gained a third in 2015, worked for local charity REAL for more than three years and since 2012 have worked for Rossendale-based charity Veterans In Communities. I am on contract with JJO kitchen, bedroom and bathroom manufacturerer in Bacup and I also work for a number of businesses, charities and organisations whenever they require. I produce newsletters as well as news stories for the written press, online media, TV and radio.

Want to promote your school?

Why not let me run a Paper In A Day project at your school?

You can choose either a Paper in a Week project with the end product of a 16-page full colour newspaper written by the school's own pupils promoting literacy and inclusion.brochureweb, a Paper in a Term or a Paper in a Day project which produces a 4-page paper and links in with the national curriculum journalistic writing taught in Year 6.

Check out the School News section to see examples of a paper in a day projects. Click here to read testimonials from teachers and pupils.

I also offer an after-school club newspaper service to produce a termly or half-termly paper written by primary school pupils.

I produce brochures and school prospectuses, which can be printed in school saving on costs or externally, if preferred.

To see an example click on the above photograph.

Got a story to tell? Give me a bell.

I work as a freelance journalist and photographer. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

About me


I have been a journalist since 1988 working on local evening and weekly papers. My last role was as news editor so I have organisational, subbing and page laying experience.

As a school governor for 10 years, firstly at nursery and then primary school. While a governor, I developed a successful school newspaper programme and I now share that experience with other schools through my Paper in a Day, week, termly or half-termly enrichment programme.

I have also written a book on the murder of Sophie Lancaster - Weirdo Mosher Freak, which can be bought direct from me. Just follow the link to ebay. To find out more click on my Sophie Lancaster Book page. The book has now been rebranded The Sophie Lancaster Story and is available on Amazon. Picture Liz Henson Photography.

In a voluntary capacity, I am a Cub leader, chairman of the local carnival committee and member of Weir Pride.