25 January 2015

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Vote for your top local newspaper front page of 2013

Over the course of the year, HTFP has published scores of great front pages sent in by newspapers to illustrate how they covered a particular local, national or international story.

They are the front pages that tell the story of the year 2013 and, for the first time, we are giving HTFP readers a chance to vote for their favourite.

We have put together a 12-strong shortlist below from which to choose your winner. It features only main paper front pages as opposed to supplements, and has been compiled only from stories already featured on HTFP this year.

You can vote for up to three contenders and the voting form can be found by scroll to the end of the story. The poll will be open until Monday 6 January and the results will be published on HTFP early in the New Year.


1. The North West Evening Mail launches a campaign to improve maternity services on its Cumbria patch.

2. The Oxfordshire Guardian reports on a dramatic fire which destroyed a thatched cottage near Didcot.

3. The Cambridge News launches a bid for fairer funding for local  schools.

4. Last winter’s big freeze provided the inspiration for this South Wales Echo front page.

5. The Derby Telegraph records the guilty verdicts in the trial of child killers Mick and Mairead Philpott.

6. Soldier Lee Rigby’s shooting as reported by his hometown paper, the Manchester Evening News.

7. A 130-car pile-up on the Isle of Sheppey crossing provided some dramatic images for the Sittingbourne Messenger.

8. Lady Thatcher’s death made the front pages of several evening papers including the News and Star, Carlisle.

9. A Tory peer’s comments about the “desolate” North spawned this front page by The Journal, Newcastle.

10. The Scotsman was one of several regional dailies to feature the birth of Prince George on its front page.

11. The Burton Mail captures the conclusion of a drugs raid in a wraparound front and back page.

12. The Eastern Daily Press reports on this month’s storms which battered East Anglia.


  1. Observer

    All winners in my book – and just prove the importance of having quality photographers and journalists who can write and illustrate a good story.

    Let’s see how many years it is before a quality front page comes with a picture from an iPhone and words from an unpaid amateur.

    Oh year – Merry Christmas.

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  2. Debbie Neech

    I vote for Bridge Terror, Sittingbourne Messenger

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  3. Mark Flanagan

    If they are the best it just shows how quickly the standards of page design are deteriorating.

    Subs have no time to do anything creative and still newspaper execs fail to realise the importance of a striking front page.

    A brilliant page one is the best chance newspapers have of picking up casual sales yet so little consideration is given to creating something stunning.

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  4. Scoop

    Burton Mail – great picture.

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  5. Chris

    Burton Mail. Brilliant picture and a very good read.

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  6. ex-hack

    The MEN – evocative p1 but oh Lord the headline. Wiggles in and out, in and out, all the way down. How about:


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  7. Mark Flanagan

    Those people lauding the Burton Mail… it was clearly a set-up.

    Very often police invite their local newspapers to accompany them on such raids.

    It is not a brilliant picture. It is posed.

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  8. Mark Flanagan

    PS The News & Star one is rubbish.

    So few words used and still don’t have the skill to avoid using the word ‘dies’ twice.

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  9. Neil Smith

    Replying to Mark Flanagan, the Hear Our Voices image (being a montage of people who’d joined a campaign against the loss of a maternity service, that collectively make up an image of a baby) is to my mind is far from the lack of creativity that you refer to. Gets my vote.

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  10. TR

    As good as the Burton Mail wrap looks in this form, I can’t imagine it having the same impact in print. The back page is just a wall and some dark-clothed coppers isn’t it?

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  11. Emma T

    @ Mark Flanagan Yes, the Burton Mail was invited to accompany the police on a drugs raid, but are you seriously suggesting the 250 officers present had time to ‘pose’ for pictures while they were breaking down doors and arresting offenders?
    This wasn’t some little raid set up for the purposes of the Mail, but the first part of an operation which lasted months and led to the arrests of drugs dealers who had been involved in drive-by shootings and grenade attacks. All of which was covered extensively by the Mail, from start to finish.
    Do you suggest that next time the Mail – and any other newspaper – is invited to accompany the police on an operation, the invitation is turned down – just in case it looks ‘set up’?

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  12. Matt White, Leeds

    The headline on the MEN entry is AWFUL. What the hell was the editor thinking approving it? Takes a strong image and powerful story and kills it with ugly, ugly text.

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  13. Johnners1712

    Cambridgeshire News for me. It makes a strong point very well.

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  14. Sub standard sub, Suffolk

    The Thatcher one is mediocre. I preferred the one about Pickles eating all the biscuits to any of these!

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  15. Eye Spy, Derby

    Am I the only person who has spotted that the Burton Mail has done a very bad job of flipping the image?
    Look at the word ‘POLICE’ on the back of the officer at the door.
    Clearly a flipped image.
    Golden Rule of subbing – never flip an image, especially if it contains words, is used on the front page – or is in line for an award.
    Oh dear.
    Back to subbing school.

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  16. Ecilop

    You silly arse, Eye Spy, Derby…The officer clearly has his jacket on inside out.

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  17. sme

    @ ecilop, Luckily he has lapels on the inside then.

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  18. ill-informed

    In sadly characteristic form, ‘Observer’ says, “let’s see how many years it is before a quality front page comes with a picture from an iPhone and words from an unpaid amateur.” He or she would do well to watch ‘2013: Moments in Time’ on the BBC’s i-player. This fantastic programme shows how numerous photographs and videos have been captured by amateurs and have then been used by the world’s media. The very first picture that the programme covers was a snap taken with an iPhone that was subsequently used by the London Evening Standard as a full front-page image.

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  19. Dodgy Doogie, Glasgow

    Sorry to be picky, but The Scotsman is not a ‘regional daily’.

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