Election day is one of the few days in the year when some regional newspapers can get back on to the presses for an on-day edition. But what about the day after the morning after the night before?
Election Saturday’s front pages work on many levels for the regional press. Time has been had to take stock about what’s going on and where, and what it means locally. Front pages also have a unique value online – they can grab the attention and remind people that professional journalism lies behind the links our brands share.
So where to start yesterday? How about York, where the Press led with the question many are still asking:
The Manchester Evening News carried a supplement on Saturday, reflecting on the week’s events which shook the nation, but made a city stronger.
The front page of that supplement has been widely shared online:
Inside the supplement is a spread of front pages from around the UK this week, anchored by the MEN’s fronts this week which have both set the tone and reflected the mood in the city over the past seven days:
Friday’s regional newspapers continued to be dominated by events in Manchester, with an increasing focus on the impact the actions of terrorists were having in their areas.
More than 50 newspapers led with stories related to Monday’s terror attack, with victims being named, armed police on the street – and tens of thousands of people taking part in a minute’s silence on Thursday morning captured in many papers too.
For the Manchester Evening News, it was time to reflect a different mood emerging in the city – that of the debt of gratitude so many feel towards the emergency services:
Thursday’s front pages of the regional press showed the number of communities the horror at the Manchester Arena had impacted across the country.
The Manchester Arena is arguably the biggest indoor music venue in the North, and as such people travel a long way to see stars there. On Monday, there were 21,000 people there. They had travelled from far and wide.
Their stories were told across the country:
If you read just one story from the regional press this weekend, please consider this one from the Islington Gazette. It’s a truly remarkable story, with an intro to make you stop in your tracks:
An ex-mayor of Islington and top councillor at the time when children were being raped in kids’ homes has sensationally admitted her links to a pro-paedophile group that supported child sex in early 1980.
Not surprisingly, it was front page news for the paper this week – and stood out at the news stand I visited at Euston Station on Thursday night too.
If you read Twitter last week, you’d think the biggest contribution the local Press has made to election coverage so far has been the decision to accept ad wraps from the Tories on titles across the country.
Among the titles accepting the wraps was the Chorley Citizen, the first newspaper I ever did paid work (and a heck of a lot of unpaid work) for. Back in 1996, my first ever front page was printed in spot green (remember that?) because a wrap had been sold. A wise old hand at the time advised me ‘to get use to it.’ It wasn’t a political wrap, but it was an advertiser paying to be the first thing a reader saw.
For all the talk of the general election (still over a month away), for many local newsrooms, the more immediate focus is on the elections which take place next week.
Normally, this would be the quietest election year in the local government cycle. Generally speaking, in England it’s only county councils which should be holding elections this year (there are also council elections in Wales and Scotland). However, the machinations of Tory policy have rather turned that on its head.