Today, the newspaper news stands were all about the death of Nelson Mandela, at least on all of the national newspapers.
But for regional newspapers, particularly those in in the Midlands, north east and north west, it was the weather which took centre stage.
For some titles, this may be because overnight deadlines are in the early evening, meaning that Mandela’s death, announced as it was after 9pm, was too late for the print edition.
Many others, however, will have had a choice – go with the late-breaking international news story which will have developed significantly online and through the broadcast media by the time the paper hits the stands and which probably can’t compete with the pre-planned coverage national newspapers may well have had to hand, or stand out with local coverage of the story no-one else will be covering.
For me, that choice became a no-brainer – apart from titles such as the Western Mail which have a legitimate claim to being a national newspaper for the area (in its case, a country) it serves – when I watched the BBC News at 10pm. The BBC’s national coverage was without fault, but the regional news – BBC North West where I live – was utterly bizarre.
Having heard world leaders pay tribute, meticulous obituaries and pre-planned analysis on the national news, BBC North West delivered a reporter in the studio relaying Tweets from Kenny Dalglish and Rio Ferdinand plus a man, from the north west, who once painted Mandela – I think.
I guess what I’m saying is that if you have a strength, you should always play to it. The local media’s strength is being, well, local, and this selection of newspaper front pages from storm-hit areas yesterday, proves just how strong that strength can be: