A front page which combines Christmas with a drugs bust to create something rather special…


When I was putting together the gallery of front pages celebrating the art of the Christmas special, I focused on the positive.

But the front page above, from the Greenwich News Shopper, is perhaps of my favourites. First off, it makes great use of a pun based on Jingle Bells which actually rhymes, as opposed to the used-far-too-often Jingle Tills, which doesn’t, and which also doesn’t make sense.

The Christmas hats on the crooks are a treat as well, but it’s the substance of the story which makes it a winner for me.

The drug dealers involved were busted after using some of their ill-gotten gains to create music videos to post on YouTube.

A remarkable story, well told – and with a brilliant still from one of the videos to make for a brilliant front page. The fact the music videos were pretty rubbish, as described in the story, is just a brilliant festive bonus.

And it’s worth contrasting the New Shopper’s front page with that of the council-run, weekly Greenwich Time (geddit?):

greenwich time

Yep, I know which I’d want to read when it got pushed through my letterbox – the one which lets the journalism set the agenda, rather than the one used to deliver the local council’s message each week.

Here’s hoping 2015 finally brings an end to the scourge of the council propaganda ‘newspaper’, still a problem in several areas, which use public sector cash to push a biased view of the world, and use the luxury of being underwritten by councils to compete unfairly with publishers for private sector advertising too.

Of course, if councils in these areas were seeing much greater engagement at the ballot box as a result, it would perhaps be a different matter.

Independent journalism which informs the public by using a creative flair to hook readers in appears to be alive and well in Greenwich, and certainly not funded by the local council…


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