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Choose your regional newspaper front page of the year

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.

Birmingham Mail – Wanted for rape and murder

Brum Mail suspects

Bournemouth Echo – For You Harry

Bournemouth Man United front

Carmarthen Journal – Bring Him Home

Carmarthen wrap

Croydon Advertiser – Spiderdad

Croydon Spiderman

 Leicester Mercury – 11


Liverpool Sunday Echo – Legend

Everton Echo

Macclesfield Express – United in Grief

Macclesfield Express special

Manchester Evening News – Life or Death

MEN Syria


Newcastle Chronicle – A Nation Divided


Northern Echo – Abandoned

Northern abandon

Norwich Evening News – Glory Glory Norwich City

Norwich special

Oxford Mail – This Is What Could Be LostOxford FoI

Teesside Gazette 1845-2015

The front page of yesterday's Teesside Gazette

The front page of yesterday’s Teesside Gazette

The News, Portsmouth – Today’s The Day

Portsmouth Americas

Western Mail – We Won, Spread the Word

Western Mail

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

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  • December 21, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Great front pages one and all..

    Great use of powerful images..

    But Newspapers don’t need photographers!!!!

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  • December 21, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Snappy is absolutely right, these are all great-looking pages. But the majority rely on great photography.
    My favourite though is the Macclesfield Express front page because it is a response to a breaking, ‘hard’ news story – that will have had a massive effect on the local community.

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  • December 21, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Some wonderful powerful images on display in these front pages it just shows the double standards of the industry,on one hand titles are more than willing to accept awards due to the skillful work of professional photographers,but on the other hand axing staff photographers left right and centre and useing amateur rubbish in the inside pages,how many of these front pages shortlisted were taken by a reporter on a phone! DOUBLE STANDARDS shown at its best

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  • December 21, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    Next year…”Best front page with the best user generated photographs? Take a good long look at these great p 1’s – we won’t see the likes of them in the coming years for sure!

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  • December 21, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    Wrong, Snappy. Not all great front pages. You’re right about the monkeys’ input though. These pages would be nothing without the images. I was torn between the Northern Echo & the Teesside Gazette. Tthe Gazette got it on the toss of a coin.

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  • December 22, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    I agree totally with Snappy. Newspapers are an important visual medium, and it’s great photography that draws in the readers. Sacking photogs is madness.

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  • December 23, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    The Northern Echo got my vote. Classic image, classic news photography. Classy newspaper. Great to see superb photojournalism alive and well.

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  • December 24, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Northern Echo got my vote as well. Powerful image and powerful words. One of the few remaining good regional papers with a superb editor.

    BUT . . . Sport should never be a front page lead. Front page taster fine but why have sport on the front when it belongs on the back?

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  • December 31, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Commenters on here may be interested to know that the picture on the Northern Echo front page (which I’ve voted for) is UGC…

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  • January 2, 2016 at 8:42 am

    Sorry Harry, that’s nonsense. The front page should be the best story – what people are talking about and engaging with, if that’s sport then it’s sport. The Western Mail was superb during the Rugby World Cup for example.

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  • January 4, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    I think the Birmingham Mail’s is the only one that isn’t based on a breaking news or comment piece – a proper investigative article.

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