“ Local evening paper published in York. „
PHEW What A Scorcher! Water Place to Park and Traders Warn of Shortages – these are some of the Annually Repeated Stories (ARS) that appear in the Yorkshire Evening Press. The Yorkshire Evening Press is published in York by Newsquest group who are owned by Gannett, who claim to be one of the world’s largest newspaper publishers. The paper comes out in broadsheet format Monday-Friday and for some reason changes to a tabloid on Saturdays! The weekday paper is usually 24 pages, but can be thinner at the start of the week. Cover price is 32p. The paper is not to be confused with the Yorkshire Evening Post, sister paper to the Yorkshire Post which is produced in Leeds and tends to be a superior product. As is the case with most local newspapers, the paper consists of large amounts of advertising by local traders accompanied by a small amount of national, international and regional news. The advertising is often carried in supplements. Thursday is Property day. The property supplements are usually far larger than the actual paper itself! Friday is Car day, Wednesday jobs. The Saturday tabloid edition has a quite substantial entertainment section with what’s on, restaurant reviews, etc. accompanied by plenty more advertising. The small amount of news in the paper is generally of reasonable quality. The front page tends to be taken up with local news. Page 2 consists of half a page of UK and world news. There are usually a further five pages of local news, a couple of feature pages, including readers letters and a what’s on daily section plus two pages of TV and radio programme details. The paper tries to be non-political, however this is quite a balancing act. Quite a large number of the local news stories tend to be criticism of plans or decisions made by the local City Council (Labour controlled). The thing I like about the paper is spotting the Annually Repeated Stories (ARS)
. The first, and I’m sure other local newspapers must do this one, usually appears in mid-August each year. The headline usually reads: York Bakes in XX Degrees! Obviously the XXs are usually a number in the 80s. The headline is usually accompanied by pictures of drunken youths jumping off city centre bridges into the river. After the usual reports of ice cream sales up, tarmac melting, shops running out of sun cream, etc. we turn to the police spokesman for dire warnings about the danger of jumping into the river. Endangering the lives of tourists on pleasure boats, being drowned by strong undercurrents, etc. Despite this story being repeated annually for as long as I can remember, it does not seem to have deterred people from jumping into the river during hot spells. The next ARS usually appears in autumn under the headline: Water Place to Park! or similar. This story features a local motorist who has parked on one of York’s riverside parking areas despite the fact that the river level is rising at an alarming rate. The intrepid Evening Press photographer waits for the floodwater to get up to the car’s door handles before taking the picture. The story accompanying the picture warns of the dangers of parking in such places when there has been heavy rain over the Pennines for the previous few days. Despite the educational element of this story someone seems to get caught out each year. The next ARS is a little more sinister. It appears usually in the last week of November or the first week of December. The headline is usually: Traders Warn of Shortages. The gist of the story is that stocks of that Christmas’s ‘Must Have’ toy are low and if people did not go out and buy it soon they risk disappointment. This story does not seem to work as it is usually followed up by a story in mid-December saying that traders have plenty of everything! One annoying feature of the paper is the marvellous photographs that
readers are invited to buy. Every time there is an eclipse of the sun or moon the Evening Press photographers produce a colour photograph which is printed in the paper and readers are invited to buy a print for themselves. The photograph is usually a picture of the eclipse next to one of the towers of York Minster. However, the photograph usually involves much digital manipulation, which is described in the technical small print at the bottom. The resulting picture, usually a combination of a stock photo of the Minster with a much-magnified picture of the eclipse placed in the sky above, however good it may look, cannot be put forward as a pictorial record of a particular event as it seems to be claimed in the paper. Overall I would say that the Yorkshire Evening Press is a fairly decent local newspaper. My only complaint is that with the amount of paid for advertising contained in the paper, the cover price of 32p would seem to be a little high.