Chris Blackhurst on Northern journalism: “It’s not all clogs, flat-caps and whippets”

The former editor of The Independent has made a call for the national press to give the North West more media coverage.

Speaking at the Society of Editors conference in Carlisle,  Chris Blackhurst, Executive Director of CTF Partners, welcomed delegates with praise for his homegrown roots and accredited his success to the “gritty Cumbrian folk”.

Addressing industry figures at the conference in Cumbria, Blackhurst said that part of the problem was a lack of self-belief when it came to the real power of the Northern Press.

He went on to speak of his passion and enthusiasm for attracting more press coverage of the North.

He said: “We ought to have more regionalisation of our national papers. People want to know about the world outside of London.

“The focus on London can have a negative effect. If you are in the north, you want to feel the person writing about the north actually has a knowledge of that area,” he added.

Blackhurst, who was born in Cumbria, drew upon his experience of working in London alongside the political elite, with his time in the North and questioned aspects of media coverage.

He said: “The London press likes to paint the north as clogs, flat caps and whippets.

“In reality, we need some long overdue investment. Really, what is the point in building a fast train from Liverpool to Leeds if everyone else is on the slow line?

“I love Cumbria so much. Welcome to the greatest county in Britain,”

Hayden Atkins

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