Yorkshire folk have a reputation for being blunt. Steve Dyson in his blog reviewing local papers, hosted by HoldtheFrontPage, is equally forthright in his look at the Yorkshire Evening Post today.
Dyson's review starts: "A weak headline for a wipe-out splash that did not merit the space given was not a good start." He asks: "Does 'A STATELY FOOD FIGHT' catch your eye? What does it mean? Why choose such a crusty word? Who decided to stretch that top deck? And why make it the only story on the front page?
"In today's crowded multimedia world, page ones of regional newspapers have to fight so much harder to grab the attention of passing, over-loaded readers. For me, this headline just did not gel, failed to shout about a must-have story and therefore fell short of selling the paper."
He adds: "The court case between a caterer and a home owned by the cousin of Elizabeth II was actually quite readable, although you’d have thought the words 'Royal' or 'Queen' would have added more to the headline. And it would have felt more natural as a page five or seven, as in my opinion it wasn't the best tale of the day on offer."
Instead Dyson says he would have opted for 'The knifeman next door' - a story about a man who'd stabbed his neighbour but then returned to live in the adjacent house while waiting for the court case.
He is also critical of a low story count and big pictures on mundane stories.
Dyson praises the Post's sport and letter pages but concludes: "While a single day's review is not the fairest way of judging a newspaper, I also know that readers who spend 42p on a 56-page paper and end up disappointed might not to come back another day, so consistency is crucial. The latest ABC figures suggest that this was perhaps just an off day. The Johnston Press-owned Yorkshire Evening Post saw sales down just 5.7% to 44,818 a day, not a dreadful performance in comparison to many others."
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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