The year is almost over and once again it’s time for HoldtheFrontPage readers to choose the best regional newspaper front page from the past 12 months.
We are showcasing 15 of the front pages that have been featured on our website during 2015 in our annual poll which opens today.
In the year the government sought to water-down freedom of information laws, FoI figures strongly in our shortlist, with the Oxford Mail’s 15-page special on the issue and the Birmingham Mail’s revelations about the names of rape and murder suspects being kept secret.
We have also included two rival papers’ coverage of one of the biggest regional news stories of the year – the steelworks closure in Redcar which produced memorable fronts for both the Northern Echo and Teesside Gazette.
As ever, sport features prominently, with the Leicester Mercury’s celebration of Jamie Vardy’s goalscoring exploits, the Norwich Evening News’ coverage of its local team’s promotion to the Premier League, and the Western Mail’s front-page riposte to ‘cocky Irish pundits’ after Wales defeated Ireland in the Six Nations.
And like any year, 2015 saw its share of goodbyes, with legendary former Everton manager Howard Kendall commemorated on the front of Liverpool’s Sunday Echo.
Elsewhere, the return of the Americas Cup to the UK made a big splash for Portsmouth daily The News, while the Macclesfield Express produced a dramatic front page following a fatal factory explosion in the town.
Our shortlist also includes regional coverage of two of the biggest national news stories of the year, with the Newcastle Chronicle’s General Election front reflecting the political divisions between North and South, and the Manchester Evening News’ campaigning response to the Syrian refugee crisis.
Two of the most moving front pages of the year came from the Bournemouth Echo with its tribute to recently bereaved footballer Harry Arter, and the Carmarthen Journal’s ‘Bring Him Home’ wrap, desdicated to missing schoolboy Cameron Comey.
On a lighter note, the Croydon Advertiser makes the shortlist with its ‘Spiderdad’ splash about who dresses up as a superhero every day to inspire his children.
You can view the full shortlist below, in alphabetical order with links to the HTFP stories in which they were originally featured.
The voting form, which will be open until 5 January, can be found by scrolling down to the bottom of the page. You can vote for up to three contenders.
What was the best regional newspaper front page of 2015?
- Bournemouth Echo - For You, Harry (30%, 581 Votes)
- Oxford Mail - This Is What Could Be Lost (12%, 227 Votes)
- Carmarthen Journal - Bring Him Home (11%, 209 Votes)
- Northern Echo - Abandoned (8%, 162 Votes)
- Western Mail - We Won, Spread the Word (8%, 146 Votes)
- Macclesfield Express - United in Grief (7%, 131 Votes)
- Leicester Mercury - 11 (6%, 115 Votes)
- Teesside Gazette - 1845-2015 (6%, 114 Votes)
- Manchester Evening News - Life or Death (6%, 113 Votes)
- Liverpool Sunday Echo - Legend (4%, 79 Votes)
- Croydon Advertiser - Spiderdad (3%, 50 Votes)
- Birmingham Mail - Wanted for Rape and Murder (3%, 49 Votes)
- Newcastle Chronicle - A Nation Divided (1%, 28 Votes)
- The News, Portsmouth - Today's The Day (1%, 22 Votes)
- Norwich Evening News - Glory Glory Norwich City (1%, 18 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,931