IT shouldn't need spelling out that the closure of Teesside's steelworks, with the loss of 1,700 jobs, is devastatingly important news.

The announcement by SSI was so important, in terms of the economic and social impact on a large part of the North-East, that The Northern Echo devoted both its front and back pages to it, along with another seven pages inside. The area's other local newspaper, the Evening Gazette, produced similarly comprehensive and passionate coverage.

But what of our national papers? How important did they consider the death of an historic North-East industry, the end of hundreds of family livelihoods, and the shattering blow to the local community? "Not very" is the sad answer.

The momentous news only warranted mentions on on the front pages of two national newspapers – the Daily Star managed a couple of page one paragraphs pointing to a page lead on Page 4, and the I newspaper had a paragraph on its front page, with a lead story on Page 11. Coverage in the rest was as follows...

Daily Mail: A downpage story on Page 21, beneath a page lead focusing on inner-turmoil in the Conservative Party over the rights and wrongs of free schools.

The Sun: Four paragraphs on Page 2, cross-referencing to a lead story on its City page, way back on Page 41. The front page was reserved for an attack on the "red planet" Labour Party.

Daily Mirror (the paper my Teesside steelworker dad always carried in his bait-bag): A lead story on Page 8, although I quite liked the headline: "Lights off at the Northern Powerhouse."

Daily Telegraph: A measly single column story in its business section. I missed it on my first scan of the paper.

Independent: A lead story on Page 18.

Guardian: A lead story on Page 14:

Daily Express: A lead story on Page 2.

Financial Times: A lead story on Page 4.

At best underwhelming, at worst pretty pathetic, and a failure to understand the consequences of what is happening in part of the United Kingdom.

Imagine if a 150-year-old industry in the Home Counties was being consigned to the scrapheap, with 1,700 jobs axed. I respectfully suggest the national press might find it would have different priorities.

Thank goodness for local papers.