Its origins go back to 1879, when local printer James Fearnsides established the Batley News. It faced a rival from the outset in the shape of the Batley Reporter and Guardian, which had been founded in the late 1860s. The two merged in 1959 as the Batley News and Reporter, but in 1971 the Reporter was dropped from the title.
The Birstall News was set up by Fearnsides just two years after the Batley News, in 1881. It maintained a separate existence until 2008. There are still two editions of the amalgamated title, though: the Batley News and the Birstall News. They share the same website.
The News is published by the Yorkshire Weekly Newspapers Group, part of the West Yorkshire region of the nationwide group of regional newspaper publishers, Johnston Press.
The editorial offices were in Batley until April 2013. In the previous month Johnston Press announced plans to move them to the Dewsbury Reporter‘s offices in Dewsbury. The move went ahead in spite of a former Reporter news editor starting a petition calling for the News to remain in Batley. An attempt to auction the Batley premises in April failed to find a buyer.
It comes out on Wednesdays.