Latest Stories

Thank you for the business
Teenager comes to fall woman's aid
Wonderful Weir
UPDATED School Newspaper WINS National Media Final
Thank you for the business

A massive thank you to everyone who has employed me since January, this has been my busiest year to date.

Without doubt the success I am most proud of is Fearns Chat, my flagship school newspaper, winning the national Shine Media Award for best newspaper in the country.

At Rossendale Business Awards, my business was a runner up in the Sole Trader category and together with Liz Henson of Liz Henson Photography, as Snapper and Hack we picked up the Rossendale Free Press Award for corporate social responsibility for our fundraising antics for Rossendale Hospice in the summer.

2019 promises to continue where 2018 has left off. I have worked for three high schools producing press and PR stories, two alternative education providers producing half-termly school newspapers, two primary schools running weekly after school clubs to create termly newspapers and more than 30 ad hoc clients writing about a vast range of subjects.

I wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year and thank everyone for employing me. Photo Liz Henson Photography


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Teenager comes to fall woman's aid

This would have ordinarily been a Good Samaritan story however it developed into much more when, even though 15-year-old Millie was helping a pensioner, a man chose to criticise her school.

Head Girl at Fearns Community Sports College had done what other passersby failed to do in helping the elderly lady who had fallen and her shopping bags had split spilling the contents everywhere.

Thoughtful Millie rushed to help, bought new bags and repacked the shopping and then escorted the lady back to her car. That is when a man decided to begin putting her school down.

However he met his match in Millie. She calmly answered every criticism and put across her point of view succinctly until, she admitted, it seemed he could not wait to get away.

Her story was used by the Rossendale Free Press and shared more than 450 times. I also arranged for her to be interviewed live on BBC Radio Lancashire on the Sally Naden mid-morning show.


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Wonderful Weir

This is a complete departure from my normal work blog, I took this photograph to illustrate the amazing work being carried out by volunteers in my home village.

This was a voluntary piece of work to praise the dedicated members of Weir Pride, a community group set up to love the village.

But Weir Pride does much more than picking and planting. The group has brightened the whole park up with knitted bunting and animals after holding knit and natter sessions and working with children from the local primary school.

Not all jobs are paid, but ones like this are very satisfying - and the story was used on Page 3 of the Rossendale Free Press.


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UPDATED School Newspaper WINS National Media Final

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

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 went to London for the 2018 final when Fearns Chat picked up the trophies for 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 was produced in late June.


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image Thank you for the business
image Teenager comes to fall woman's aid
image Wonderful Weir
image UPDATED School Newspaper WINS National Media Final

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

WINNER Rossendale Business Awards Rossendale Free Press Award for Corporate Social Responsibility - Snapper and Hack, with Liz Henson Photography

HIGHLY COMMENDED Rossendale Business Awards 2018 - Sole Trader

WINNER National Shine School Media Awards 2018 for Fearns Chat - Best Newspaper and Best Front Cover

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

Check out the School News section. 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.

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 and chairman of the local carnival committee.