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Culture minister praises HTFP blogger

We’ve been pretty pleased so far with the reaction to our new HoldtheFrontPage blogger – former Birmingham Mail editor Steve Dyson.

Although not everyone has necessarily agreed with his weekly critiques of local and regional newspapers, that wasn’t the point. He has generated plenty of discussion and debate and the page views so far are more than justifying our decison to take him on.

That said, we never expected Steve’s blog to win ministerial praise. After all it’s not often that politicians start dishing out compliments to journalists!

That’s however exactly what happened today after Creative Industries Minister Sion Simon dropped by to reveal he was an "avid reader" of the blog.

He wrote: "Having followed Steve here from the Birmingham Mail (a succesful local paper which makes a lot of money), I’m really enjoying this column.

"I’m a huge advocate of hyperlocal bloggers and of taking ‘citizen journalism’ seriously, but that doesn’t mean that local newspapers are dead. They’re not.

"I think Steve’s column is a great read, done with verve and chutzpah.

"For me – an outsider except as consumer – it brings to life an under-pressure sector which deserves to walk a bit taller, with a little more swagger than it does."