Welcome to The Tribune, a new source of news in Sheffield that publishes thoughtful, nuanced reporting of this city’s politics, culture, history and people.

It’s a brand new venture bringing a different kind of local journalism covering South Yorkshire — one that gives you the context you need to understand what is really going on, and strives for quality rather than cheap clicks. Our journalists — who have written for The New York Times, The Guardian, The Times and The Spectator — are dedicated to accurate, balanced reporting and getting to the heart of the stories they cover. Join our email list below.

Ever since we published out first story in March, the reaction from local readers has been overwhelming. People love our free weekly briefings and weekend long reads. Our stories about the closure of the University of Sheffield’s archaeology department, Cardinal Wolsey’s stay at Manor Lodge and the rise and fall of the city’s newspapers have been read and shared by thousands of people.

The Tribune is reader-funded, meaning we won’t have to cover our stories with annoying ads, and our sole focus will be serving our most loyal readers. In July we opened our paid membership scheme for Tribune readers who want to get more of our journalism in their inboxes and support our work. As well as the two free newsletters every week, they get at least two more, and they get to post comments and join our members’ discussion threads.

Since then we have published members-only stories on the Foodhall community eating project, the uncomfortable history of fascism in Sheffield, how Sheffield fell for the Steelers ice hockey team and the story of a mural which came to symbolise the city’s politics in the 1980s.

We’re also on the lookout for talented journalists in South Yorkshire to write for The Tribune. If that’s you, please email editor@sheffieldtribune.co.uk with a few links to your best work and your ideas about stories you would like to cover.

Get in touch

The Tribune is edited by me, Dan Hayes. I’ve been a journalist in Sheffield for three years, and have reported on local politics, crime and lots else besides. I left The Star to start this newsletter because I want to cover the city in a different way, with an emphasis on in-depth reporting and good quality analysis. You can read my piece about the history of Park Hill flats here, and one of our first Monday briefings here. To contact us, email editor@sheffieldtribune.co.uk.

Helping me as an editor and writer is Sophie Atkinson, who usually writes about culture and has been published by The New York Times and The Washington Post. We started The Tribune in partnership with the team behind The Mill in Manchester, which I’ve been reading since it started last year and which has already become a much-loved news source. We don’t have any corporate backers or investors — The Mill was founded by Joshi Herrmann, a former staffer at the London Evening Standard who has also reported for The Guardian, The Independent and The Times. His recent piece about the future of local journalism is here.

We also have regular contributions from Dani Cole, a great young journalist who wrote this wonderful piece on the River Don for The Tribune, and Mollie Simpson, whose fabulous piece on Ethel Haythornthwaite is one of our most popular stories so far.

But we are also on the lookout for talented journalists in Sheffield and across the North to write for The Tribune as well. If you think that could be you, please email editor@sheffieldtribune.co.uk with a few links to your best work and your ideas about stories you would like to cover.


Writing for The Tribune

The Tribune is looking to commission stories from talented writers and reporters in Sheffield and across the North. We are on the hunt for great writers who want to contribute stories regularly, whether that’s every few weeks or every few months. Please read this guide before getting in touch — the contact details are at the bottom.

What makes a good Tribune story?

Like any news organisation we are interested in great news scoops, so please do bring us those. But unlike many local newspapers these days, we also really care about good writing. Every week we try to publish pieces that are beautifully crafted and that really speak to readers through the power of their prose.

Tribune stories are supposed to help readers understand their world better, which means doing good old-fashioned journalism by speaking to people and doing proper research and then explaining the context of what you are reporting. How has this policy you are writing about changed? What is driving the uptick in the type of crime you are covering? Gathering really high-quality evidence — from academic papers or by speaking to university researchers or authors of well-researched books about the topic — is important for this.

We also want really interesting human stories at the heart of a lot of our journalism. A lot of stories these days — particularly quick-hit journalism online — lack human depth. Stories are most interesting when they have people at the centre of them. That doesn’t mean you can’t zoom out and explain the trend behind the story or the forces shaping this trend in society — you should. But it means putting people and their experiences at the heart of what we write.

We’re open to any topic, as long as it has a strong link to Sheffield or the surrounding area, and will be interesting and informative to our audience. Our readers are doctors, teachers, lawyers, carers, site managers, publishers, counsellors, university professors and entrepreneurs. They care about culture, crime, history, housing, politics, business, education, the environment, health, inequality and all the things you might read about in The Times or The Guardian or The Economist.

Our rates are modest at this stage in our young life because we are a tiny startup. We will agree a fee with you when we commission a story, and there’s lots of variation depending on what the piece involves. As our subscriber base grows we will build up our war chest for investigative work that costs more.

Tribune stories so far

  • A feature on Park Hill flats speaking to someone who has lived there almost her entire life and an expert in the history of social housing.

  • A data story and analysis piece about the Sheffield local elections and its implications for politics in the city.

  • A long-read about a Sheffield community which has developed a walking trail between a series of community gardens set up and tended by residents.

  • A news feature about the 40 year backstory to the Sheffield Green Party’s rise to power.

  • A look back at a Victorian STI clinic which served the people of Sheffield for over 50 years.

  • A history piece about Cardinal Thomas Wolsey’s visit to Manor Lodge in Sheffield in the days before he died.

How to pitch

Email your ideas to editor@sheffieldtribune.co.uk, and please allow a week or two for us to get back to you because we consider most of our pitches in batches. In your, email please include:

  • what the idea is and how you would do it.

  • why it’s interesting to readers now.

  • a few links to stories or blogs showing how you write.

Don’t feel the need to write a long email — a good pitch can be five or six sentences. Thanks for thinking of pitching The Tribune!