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August 5, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 8:10am

Yorkshire Evening Post editor defends ‘worthwhile’ local newspapers in final column

By Freddy Mayhew

The outgoing editor of the Yorkshire Evening Post has spoken out about the importance of local newspapers in “chronicling the extraordinary in people’s ‘ordinary’ lives” in her final column before stepping down.

Hannah Thaxter announced last month that she would be leaving the daily title for “personal reasons” after two years in charge and used her column this week to share an encounter she’d had early on in her career.

“A young, and in my view rather arrogant, man dismissed my chosen profession saying: “What’s the point of local papers, who cares?” she said.

“He was wrong. Chronicling the extraordinary in people’s “ordinary” lives is extremely worthwhile.

“People do care and local journalists are able to share those stories with more people than ever through not just the printed newspaper but online and via social media.”

She said the YEP, which is owned by JPI Media, has “never had a bigger audience for its stories”.

Thaxter has spent nearly 30 spent working years as a journalist, starting as a trainee on the Halifax Courier aged 23, and is now leaving the profession.

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“This job has given me access to places I might never have been and people I may never have had the opportunity to meet,” she said in her final column as editor.

“Journalism allows you to be a part of people’s lives and I’ve never taken that for granted – people are so generous with their time and often so welcoming in the most difficult of circumstances.”

She added: “I’m going out with a smile and a very satisfied heart onto the next phase of my life.”

Picture: Tony Johnson/Johnston Press

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