Image copyright Harlow Star Image caption The final editions of Harlow Star and other publications will be in the week commencing 28 January

Four local newspapers are to close their print editions because of an "unsustainable" decline in advertising.

The news affects the Harlow Star, Herts and Essex Observer, the Buckinghamshire Advertiser, and the Buckinghamshire Examiner.

Readers have described the closure as "tragic news" and "awful".

Owner Reach plc said it announced the decision with "great sadness" but would continue to cover stories online.

It said there would be no editorial redundancies, and that next week's print editions would be the last.

Robert Halfon, Conservative MP for Harlow, said it was "tragic news" for the town.

"This will be a huge loss of community news for many residents who cannot access internet," he said.

Image copyright Herts and Essex Observer Image caption Herts and Essex Observer was founded in 1861

Donna Redding, from Harlow, said: "It is awful news for our community that cannot access the internet and enjoy a read of local news. We have had a local paper ever since Harlow New Town was born."

William Mata, a journalist with the Bury Free Press, said: "It was my first real job in a newsroom and I learnt a lot from the experience.

"It also leaves another town without a local paper."

A spokesman for the company said: "Due to a continued decline in local print advertising, unfortunately some print titles have become unsustainable.

"Closing a newspaper is never an easy decision and one that we never take lightly.

"Be assured that we will continue to cover the latest stories from the area regularly on our website."

History of the papers
Image copyright Buckinghamshire Examiner Image caption The paper said: "It will be missed by our loyal readers and advertisers and we thank you all wholeheartedly for your support over the years"
  • Harlow Star was launched in 1980
  • Bishop's Stortford Observer was first published on 6 April 1861
  • It changed its name to Herts and Essex Observer in 1862
  • Buckinghamshire Advertiser was established in 1853

Source: Reach plc