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The best headline for the news that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting a third baby came from a newspaper in north Wales.
The Daily Post avoided any reference to the couple’s titles and names and simply reported that ‘Former Anglesey pilot expecting third child’ – a reference to the fact Prince William and Kate shared a home on the island shortly after they were married.
Of course, this very local take on a national news story was very tongue-in-cheek and it won it a lot of fans on social media.
But, in between running media training courses, it also got us thinking about some other recent tenuous local angles in regional newspaper stories – and not all of them were as deliberately comical as the Daily Post’s effort.
Here are some of our favourites:
Jeremy Clarkson fired just two years after Top Gear films in Cheddar Gorge
The sacking off Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear was national news in 2015 and you can easily imagine reporters up and down the country desperately trying to find a local angle to the story.
And you would have been hard pressed to find a more tenuous link than that reported by the Cheddar Valley Gazette which ran the memorable headline ‘Jeremy Clarkson fined just two years after Top Gear films in Cheddar Gorge’.
If that was not bad enough, close inspection of the story showed the headline was also somewhat misleading as it was in fact Mr Clarkson’s colleague James May who had filmed in the area.
Warnings of ‘biscuit shortage’ across the country after floods
Coventry is a long way from Carlisle, but that didn’t stop the local paper desperately managing to find a local angle when Cumbria was struck by floods last year.
The Coventry Telegraph warned that biscuit lovers in its circulation area faced a shortage of custard creams and ginger nuts after flooding hit the United Biscuits factory.
But it didn’t stop there.
Seemingly without any sense of irony it also ran a poll asking readers if they were ‘worried about the biscuit shortage’.
Aberdeenshire business owner wins presidential election
There are few better examples of how to find a local angle to an international story than that produced by the Burchan Observer.
It brought its readers the news Donald Trump has been elected as President of the USA in a pretty unique way, simply making reference to Mr Trump owning a nearby golf course.
The paper went on to report that he had ‘visited the area on several occasions’.
What would happen if North Korea dropped a hydrogen bomb on Truro?
One of the bigger stories of this summer has been the escalating tensions in North Korea.
And one newspaper in Cornwall managed to find a local angle by using a computer programme to predict what would happen if Kim Jong-Un somewhat unexpectedly decided to turn his aggression to Truro.
It's the question we've all been too afraid to ask, but... pic.twitter.com/2lZaxuulO4— Vicarious Dave (@GoldenVision90) September 3, 2017
Reassuring its readers that there was only a ‘remote chance’ the dictator would in fact target Cornwall, CornwallLive predicted that such an attack would result in 8,520 fatalities.
Perhaps concerned that it was unnecessarily alarming news for its readers, the article finished with a reminder that the chances of Truro and Cornwall being targeted by North Korea are ‘very low’.
Rock star David Bowie, who played in Epsom in 1972, dies of cancer aged 69
Newspapers around the country tried desperately to find links to their areas to report on the death of David Bowie.
One of the less subtle examples came from the Epsom Guardian, which shoehorned his connection to the town in to the headline.
Apart from informing readers the building he had performed in had since been demolished and a request for people who saw the concert to get in contact, the rest of the story was made up entirely of tributes from people with no connection to the Surrey town.
The 'local' link feels too tenuous here...Rock star David Bowie, who played in Epsom in 1972, dies of cancer aged 69 https://t.co/zv4R4SY1YQ— Ann-Marie Corvin (@loislaneuk) January 11, 2016
Media First are media and communications training specialists with over 30 years of experience. We have a team of trainers, each with decades of experience working as journalists, presenters, communications coaches and media trainers.
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