Herald breaks tradition to put news on the front page

For the past 120 years The Arbroath Herald has seen all manner of scoops, scandals and disasters go unreported on its front page. But Scotland’s last newspaper to devote its front page purely to classified advertising has relaunched and is finally moving news onto its cover.

Since Johnston (Falkirk) bought the weekly in 1999, the move to change the front page has been on the agenda, but it was only in the past year that a plan for change was formed.

Ministers, whose church notices dominated the front page, were initially reluctant, but editor Craig Nisbet compromised by dedicating a page of editorial to their cause.

He said: “We felt it was time for a progressive move to reflect both the newspaper and the community of Arbroath itself. The town has suffered a lot of industrial decline in recent years, but it is starting to turn around now.”

Throughout the newspaper’s history, big local stories have been splashed on the nationals while church and public notices still greeted the Herald’s readers every Friday. One of Scotland’s worst rail disasters in 1906 and one of the country’s worst lifeboat disasters were consigned to pages inside the Herald.

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