Retiring editor of the Cornish & Devon Post Series says he is proud of its tradition to fill the front page with ads.
Keith Whitford, who has worked in newspapers for 49 years, believes that his newspaper is the last one still upholding this custom.
The only editorial space on the front page is a small box containing a photo and a few words about the main stories inside the paper, which is changed for each of the four different local editions.
Whitford feels the front page format gives the Cornish & Devon Post a unique identity. He said: “It makes it easily identifiable to the reader when pitched against all the other newspapers in the newsagents, whose front pages look pretty much the same. In other words, it stands out.”
The reason for putting ads on the front page stems from a farming background. Whitford explained: “The farmers like to read the ‘farms for sale’ and all the other linked ads from hundreds of offshoot businesses. We are still a strong agricultural area and there would be widespread disappointment if we went for news on the front.”
Whitford will retire today after working for the Cornish & Devon Post Series for 20 years.
He said: “I will miss the passport to travel along with people’s lives and charting their many ups and downs, their successes and sometimes their failures. I think the old phrase ‘all human life is there’ is far more appropriate to a local paper, which contains people, places and pictures they know, understand and want to know more about.
“I have loved every minute – even the complaints – and don’t think there is anything to beat a good local newspaper with its ear to the ground and unafraid of pressure from authority, be they councils, police or anyone else.”