An editor has hit back at claims that he is taking the silly season to extremes by printing stories about out-of date pasties and toilet lights being left on.
Northcliffe weekly title The Folkestone Herald carried the headline ‘Out-of-date pasty sold by Folkestone 99p Store fed to two-year-old’ on 26 August.
The story, along with one about some lights being left on in a public toilet for two years, was picked up by media bloggers and readers who branded them non-news stories.
But the editor of the Northcliffe-owned title – which is the process of being sold to the rival the KM Group – defended the light-hearted news agenda as a “harmless bit of fun.”
Editor of nine years, Simon Finlay, said: “I received abuse from members of the public, asking why I had put the pasty story on the front page. I didn’t have the heart to tell them we didn’t have anything else.”
Despite this, Simon said the story was in fact a page three story as the edition was contained within a wrap-around which carried a stronger story about the return of the Folkestone airshow.
Said Simon: “We put something lighter and generally not too heavy on page three.”
He added that the story had already been in the public domain for six days before it was reported on.
On the newspaper’s website, one reader commented: “I’m guessing the lack of comments on this article is because everyone agrees this article is a waste of everyone’s time.
“Why would you even bother wasting your time writing this article? Two minutes of my life I will never get back.”
But Simon hit back saying: “Any publicity is good publicity. I don’t mind, I will take any criticism.
“If people want to waste moments of their life moaning about a pasty, that’s up to them. It’s a harmless bit of fun.”