Sunday, 24 February 2013

Capturing Swansea's glory in print

What an amazing day for Swansea. The journalists at the South Wales Evening Post were certainly among those who had a fantastic time - some of them at Wembley and some making sure the paper reflected the passion and joy of the city. Not only did Swansea FC win their first major trophy but they broke the record for the biggest scoreline in League Cup history. Well done to all concerned including designers Emma Bryant, Siân David and Mat Davies and photographer Rob Melen. Above is the front page and below are a couple of others. Hopefully the paper will sell like hot cakes tomorrow.
The Western Mail also inevitably splashed on the Swansea victory and most of the nationals led their back pages and sports sections on the 5-0 victory over Bradford. Here's a selection.

I am delighted that another team in black and white won today ... and scored four goals for the first time this season. It was a cracking day on Tyneside where Newcastle not only beat Southampton 4-2, and moved ahead of Sunderland, but also celebrated the influx of French players. Blaydon Races was sang in French, La Marseillaise was played and can-can girls graced the pitch. 

The Newcastle Journal certainly entered into the spirit, changing its name to Le Journal for the day and asking French midfielder Yohan Cabeye to edit the paper. Just to add the icing on the gateau ... Cabeye scored Newcastle's third goal. Great stuff.  

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Post wraps it up with cracking front

It's a big footballing day for Swansea tomorrow - and the South Wales Evening Post certainly reflects that with today's wrap. The idea to put the new players on the front and the old stars on the back came from acting editor Cathy Duncan and, as you can see, has been brilliantly executed by supersub Siân David (a former Editorial Centre trainee).  Readers have to name the five Swans' legends on the back page. Cracking page and definitely one to keep for all Swansea fans. Anyone know what the Bradford T&A did? Send me its front and I will post it here.

Newsquiz: Kieran and Mia's 14 to beat

The Mail Online trainees have had a break from me this week as I have been in Bristol interviewing for Local World and then attending its Future Fit conference. Instead they have had sessions at PA Training's Manor in Howden from Mike Watson, David Banks and Fiona Webster. As usual they finished the week with the newsquiz and I am pleased to say the top scores are slowly getting better. This week Kieran Corcoron and Mia de Graaf shared top spot with 14 points each. It's the third consecutive week that Kieran has had the highest score, so well done to him. The rest will need to up their game if they are to prevent him from achieving a clean sweep and winning the overall prize next week. The trainees on the Press Association foundation course in Newcastle also had a crack at this week's quiz and Martin Flynn was top with 13. Reckon you can do better? There are 23 points up for grabs this week.  
A barefoot David Cameron ... but where was he? (Q7)
Photo by the Press Association
1. A Surrey newspaper ran the headline 'Surbiton's most famous fictional resident dies' this week. To whom did it refer?
2. Who caused a disturbance when she spoke at the Cambridge Union Debating Society?
3. Coronation Street actress Catherine Tyldesley received 'a lot of stick' on Twitter after donating her £10,000 Family Fortunes' prize to a charity that supports the families of prisoners. What is it called?
4. David Cameron revealed he had been ticked off by his wife over the shortage of women in the Cabinet. There are four. Theresa May is the Home Secretary and Maria Miller is the Cuture Secretary but, for a point each, name the other two.
5. Reeva Steenkamp's funeral was held in which South African City?
6. Hilary Mantel made her controversial remarks about the Duchess of Cambridge at the London Review of Books Lecture. Where was it held?
7. David Cameron went barefoot and expressed remorse for the massacre of hundreds of Indians at the Golden Temple in which city?
8. Who won best British Female Solo Artist at the Brits? And for a bonus who won best International Female Solo Artist?
9. Who designed this year's Brit award trophy?
10. The 4G auction raised £2.34bn for the Treasury, which was less than forecast.  How much was it hoping to raise?
11. Michael Jackson's son appeared as a presenter/correspondent on which US show?
12. What is Kelly Hoppen's new role?
13. When does the Eastleigh by-election, to find a replacement for Chris Huhne, take place?
14. The jury in the Vicky Pryce trial sent the judge three diferent notes containing a total of how many questions? For a bonus what was the breakdown of men and women on the jury?
15. What was the name of the British pub in Lyon where two Spurs fans were attacked?
16. Where will former Australian captain Ricky Ponting play cricket this coming season?
17. Which country was Prince Philip referring to when he told a nurse 'your country must be half empty'?
18. Three would-be suicide bombers who plotted 'murder on a horrendous scale' were found guilty at which court?
19. Prince Harry made the front pages hugging his girlfriend during a skiing holiday in Verbier. What is her name?
20. Former Tory party chairman Lord McAlpine is to drop his defamation claims against Tweeters who have fewer than how many followers?

Answers here 

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Design awards: Honorable mention for Times

It's that time of year when dozens of judges from the Society of Newspaper Design pore over the world's newspapers and decide which are the best looking. The five winners, who can now claim to be the world's best designed newspapers, were announced on Wednesday. They are:

Dagens Nyheter, Stockholm, Sweden

Welt am Sonntag, Berlin, Germany 

Die Zeit, Hamburg, Germany

Politiken, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Grid, Toronto, Canada

As usual British newspapers were under-represented. I was pleased to see, though, that The Times received a well-deserved Judges' Special Recognition Award for its 'visual story telling' of the Olympics.

The judges said: "It’s that level of detail that really separates this from other entries. It’s clean, well thought-out, and so smart. It uses the medium incredibly well, and in such unique ways. It was the most thorough and consistent coverage we saw of the Games. A true Olympic effort — and all done on deadline." Well done to design editor @jonhilldesign and his team.

The Times also won a Gold Medal for Magazine Design for Eureka. The judges said it was 'both beautiful and explanatory'. It is also, sadly, no more. The 64-page science magazine closed last October after 37 issues.

Another paper that caught my eye was the Gulf News with its confident and detailed infographics. If you want to see more, you can plough through the many categories on the SND website.

Friday, 15 February 2013

This week's news quiz. Kieran's 13 to beat

The Mail Online trainees had a good week. They spent Monday with publisher Martin Clarke at Northcliffe House who gave them an insight into the way Mail Online works and what will be expected of them. The eight trainees then took the long journey up to PA's training headquarters in Howden. They settled into their temporary homes, braved heavy snow and concentrated on writing stories, captions and headlines in Mail style. Today they have been talking features with Fiona Webster.
As usual we finished the week with the news quiz. Kieran Corcoran won the scratch card again with 13 points out of a possible 23. Mia de Graaf was second with 11. See if you can do any better. 

Benedict XVI (Q1)

1. Pope Benedict XVI has announced his resignation. What was his pre-papal name? For a bonus, the last Pope to resign before Benedict XVI was Gregory XII. In what year?
2. Why was Marine Kimberley Sherri Ponting in the headlines?
3. Which Italian magazine published beach photos of William and Kate?
4. Three people, including the parents, are facing charges of the manslaughter of the six Philpott children. At which court is the trial taking place?
5. There was major disruption to train travel in South Yorkshire due to a landslip from which mine?
6. Why has Denny Dolan been in the headlines?
7. Antony Jenkins has announced job losses of around 3,700 at which company this week?
8. Which two teams are in the Super Six final this weekend (half a point for each)?
9. Who is giving away a £15,000 diamond to a newspaper's online readers?
10. Oscar Pistorius has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend. In the summer, he complained about the length of whose blades when he was beaten in the Paralympic 200m final? For a bonus, name Pistorius's girlfriend who died.
11. It's 20 years since the murder of Jamie Bulger ... from which shopping centre in Liverpool was he abducted?
12. Name the painkiller that has been found in horses slaughtered in the UK. You get an extra point if you can spell the full name of the drug correctly.
13. The editor of the Independent on Sunday is to leave after it was announced that the daily and Sunday papers are to merge. What is his name? 
14. In a poll organised by Love Film, Love Actually was voted the most romantic movie. Which film was second? 
15. Who tweeted: 'A bit worried about Home Secretary, she is looking a bit thin these days. A new diet or pressure of work?’
16. The outgoing Governor of the Bank Of England has accused the Government of scoring an own goal over green taxes and tuition fees. Who is he? 
17. How many British teams are left in the Champions League?
18. Ed Miliband wants to introduce a mansion tax on homes valued above what amount?
19. Choirmaster Michael Brewer was convicted of abusing a violinist at which school?
20. The actor who plays Coronation Street's Kevin Webster has been charged with 19 child sex offences. What is his real name?

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

A moment in history ... or old man retires?

Well here's a story that no newspaper has ever reported before - the resignation of a Pope. The last Pope to quit (as the Standard's splash headline phrased it last night) was Gregory XII in 1415. That was just a few years before William Caxton was born. So, for those veteran journalists who feel we have seen just about every story come around … here's one that really is brand new. 

That wasn't enough to persuade the Daily Mail that it was worth Page 1 though. The paper decided Tesco's bolog-neighs (sorry), Helena Bonham Carter playing Liz Taylor and a two-day diet were all way ahead of an 85-year-old man calling it a day. Indeed, Pope Benedict XVI didn't get a mention at all until Pages 8 and 9. I was surprised … but the Mail has never been big on the Pope. It's a paper that knows its readership like no other and it will also have judged it to be a story that had gone nowhere in the last 24 hours. It had been the lead on the Mail Online home page since early morning.

The Sun decided to put Gazza's supporters ahead of God's supporter - although 'Dun Roman' and 'Auf Weidersehen, Pope' did claim an irreverent spot at the top of the page. Inside was a headline I never thought I would read - 'Pope quits shock'- along with 'Ratz all, folks'. 

The Daily Mirror on the other hand, not only gave over the whole of Page 1 to the story, with a poignant picture and first person headline, but also dedicated all of pages 2 to 7 to the story. They included a first class profile by Brian Reade and informed speculation on whether the next Pope will be African.

Of the serious papers, The Daily Telegraph stood out. The black background of a picture of Pope Benedict in the dark with a flickering candle, encompassed the whole of the page above the fold … including a white masthead. It was no doubt powerful on the new-stands. There are a further four news pages and a feature page inside.

The Times also wiped out the top of the front page with a picture and a similar first person headline to the Telegraph and Mirror. It chose to go with a back-shot, an effect that was used when the Pope visited the UK two years ago. Like the Telegraph, The Times conveys a sense of history. There are some nice touches inside, including a montage of papal hats and a timeline of Benedict's life running across the top of pages 4 and 5.

The Guardian opted for the picture, used by most others inside, of the lightning above St Peter's. It is certainly a striking photo, in more ways than one, but perhaps more of 'a fancy that moment' rather than one of great historical import. There are four pages of detailed analysis on pages 2 to 5 plus the comment columns.

The Independent also went for a wipe-out picture at the top, with a 'sits vac' headline but was clearly keen to lead on its RBS story. It devotes pages 2 to 5 to the Pope and includes the nice headline 'Legacy of a German Shepherd'.

The i chooses the same picture as its sister title - but leaves in the clasped hands. A good call.

Meanwhile the Daily Express chose not to go the extra mitre (sorry again) with any fancy design - opting for a standard templated front page. 
Here are a few covers that caught my eye from around the world.

None, though, were quite as irreverent as the New York Post with its 'I'm outta here, guys' and a strapline that said 'Pope gives God two weeks' notice'.

Front pages courtesy of and @suttonnick#tomorrowspaperstoday