This idea might not work but I’ll give it a go – 12 blog posts celebrating the uniqueness of stuff regional and local newspapers and websites do over the festive period and, in some cases, across the year.
It’s meant to be light-hearted but with a serious message: We have some traditions which can be seen as peculiar but which are also loved by many readers, and reach the parts which other media often don’t, or can’t.
So lets see how this goes – and start where it all began … Christmas that is, not the regional Press.
Nativities have long been part of the festive mix for regional publications, generally along the lines of photo spreads containing pictures of schools doing nativities, packed with angelic little ‘uns with tinsel around their heads or carefully disguised as shepherds thanks to a tactical tea towel or two.
More recently, getting parents to send in snaps of their child dressed for nativity has proved very popular. Some will lament that as the drive for user-generated content forcing change. I see it as being part of readers’ lives at an important moment, and sharing the smiles with them.
But this link, shared on Twitter yesterday, was a unique take on Nativity, from the Wolverhampton Express and Star: The story of the birth of Christ told in Black Country dialect, invented by Londoner Michael Prescott in the 1960s when he moved to the area and began encouraging Sunday School goers to tell bible stories using local words to keep interest levels high.
The Express and Star republished it this week. It’s made several trips around Twitter in recent years, as anything which describes the son of God as a ‘bostin little lad’ should be allowed to: