The day a newsroom showed a strong opinion and an understanding of social media can carry just as much weight as a campaigning front page

Until today, it could have been argued that a newspaper’s most powerful tool when seeking to make a point which grabbed attention was the the printed front page. Indeed, I suggested as much last October.

And while it will remain a powerful weapon for newsrooms to deploy when they stand up and fight for their readers, the Birmingham Mail did something rather remarkable today.

It’s best summed up in this tweet from the Press Association:


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.


A plucking good Christmas story


You don’t get many chances in journalism to have a front page which includes the sentence: “Don’t let them gobble our George” so well done to the Tivy-Side Advertiser in Wales for making the most of the sort of story which will always flap its way on to the front page at Christmas…the perfect christmas story

If there’s one idea every editor should nick and copy next year, it’s this one from the Birmingham Post…

The old Odeon cinema in Birmingham

Late last year, the Birmingham Post came up with what I think is one of the cleverest features to be invented by a local news brand in a long time.

‘Hidden Spaces’ was a photographic project which showed people hidden corners of Birmingham, arranging access to places which were off-limits to the public.

It was produced as two print supplements, shared on its app as a special edition, and turned into a section on the Birmingham Post website too.


How Black Friday was reported by the regional press

So, how was Black Friday for you?

By my reckoning, last year was the first year Black Friday was bothered with by a significant number of big stores in the UK, mirroring the traditional sales frenzy seen in America on the day after Thanksgiving.

But yesterday was the first time it became properly newsworthy – so mark this special occasion – lets face it, it’s going to be in news diaries everywhere from now on – here’s how the regional press is covering it.


The Scottish Referendum: 10 lessons for journalism

Scotland voted no….

The Scottish referendum will live long in the memory of the journalists who covered it. But as the dust settles and the devolution negotiations kick on, I’ve pulled together a list of things the referendum can teach us about political journalism and where it’s heading….


Mapped: Front pages inspired by the Tour de France in England


THE Tour De France’s Grand Depart was big news last week – showing off parts of the UK at their very best to a global audience of millions.

Once in a lifetime events are the sort of challenges newsrooms everywhere love rising to, so, a week after the Tour, he’s a selection of the front pages the Tour generated as it passed through Yorkshire, spent moments in Greater Manchester, and an afternoon between Cambridge and London.

You can either view them on the maps below by clicking the icons, or look at a gallery at the foot of this post.


If he looks like Luis Suarez and bites like Luis Suarez … a CCTV still destined to go viral


Luis Suarez ‘copycat’ incidents have been all over the national press today, perhaps blowing the ‘footballers aren’t paid to be role models’ argument out of the water once and for all.

But spare a thought for the man police are seeking in relation to a biting incident in Manchester which occurred four months ago.

He has the misfortune to bare a passing resemblance to said biting footballer … and as a result, what should have been a bog standard police appeal has suddenly gained much more momentum:


The newspaper letter of complaint which became front page news

Criminals contacting their local newspaper to complain about accuracy of articles are the stuff of legend in newsrooms around the country.

In many cases, they might be on the wrong side of the law, but how they come across in the newspaper is very important.

In the case of on-the-run burglar Darrell Burbeary, the complaint centred around what the police were saying about him.

So cross was he about what the police put in an appeal which was published in the Sheffield Star, that he wrote to the Star: