Steve Hughes, editor of The Press, York, has responded to the criticism of his paper by ex-Birmingham Mail editor Steve Dyson.
In his Dyson at Large blog, hosted by HoldtheFrontPage, Steve reviewed The Press and suggested it had chosen the wrong splash - which was an unknown vagrant found dead in a York park rather than the sudden death of a 13-year-old girl.
But Hughes in a posting on HTFP states: "I have just returned from holiday to be informed of your latest blog and feel it is only right, on behalf of my staff, to give you a little bit of context. Of course, the story about the 13-year-old girl is a more compelling story than the death of an unknown 48-year-old and, of course we knew it was strong enough to make the following day's nationals.
"But, and it's a big BUT, she didn't die in our core area of York but in a village 22 miles away which is actually closer to Leeds than it is to York. With a little bit of research you would have discovered that we have another edition covering some of our outlying areas and the splash in that edition was: Girl, 13, Found Dead in Alley. Now, you could make an argument for that story to be the page 1 lead in both editions but experience and knowledge of our market tells us that our readers in York expect their local paper to concentrate on local news.
"Admittedly, the death in the park story was short on detail but York is not a big metropolitan city with a high crime rate and on the day it was the best story."
I am a freelance journalist based in the UK and was deputy editor of Press Gazette, the journalists' magazine, from 1993 until 2006. I want to give an independent view on media matters.
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