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Charity boss steps in as daily’s editor for the day

A regional daily invited a local charity boss to act as guest editor for the day as part of an ongoing campaign to raise awareness of poverty.

The Press in York launched its Stamp Out Poverty campaign in November, aiming to raise awareness of the problem plaguing the city and tackling the stigma surrounding it.

As part of the drive, the paper offered Julia Unwin, chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the chance to edit an edition of the paper – and she snapped up the opportunity.

The Rowntree studies of poverty in York in 1901, 1941 and 1951 have become famous for highlighting the scale of the problem.

Press news editor Gavin Aitchison said he was “delighted” Julia accepted the offer, and said it had made for a fascinating day.

The front page of The Press, guest edited by poverty charity boss Julia Unwin for the day

“York has a long, proud history of anti-poverty work, most famously though the Rowntree family and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation,” he said.

“York has a fantastic reputation nationally, deservedly so, but it also has pockets of very real deprivation.

“This edition of The Press is a very powerful one that captures the breadth and depth of the difficulties that thousands of people in York face.”

The newspaper produced an eye-catching front page and dedicated pages five to nine to the campaign.

It centred on a new, proactive anti-poverty strategy which had been approved by the city council the previous evening, along with fresh figures on the cost of child poverty in the region.

Julia also wrote a first-person comment piece, which appeared alongside a number of case studies. She also interviewed York-born MP David Davis about the problem.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation chief executive Julia Unwin takes part in The Press morning conference