Monday, 4 June 2012

The Jubilee front page headline challenge

There were certainly plenty of pictures to choose from for today's front pages ... but writing the headlines was, it seems, a more challenging task. Even so, it is hard to believe the i opts for the ubiquitous 'Rain fails to dampen...' After the 50th time this appeared in my first local newspaper, the editor banned it (along with 'Blooming marvellous' on flower shows). Perhaps the paper was being ironic. 
The Guardian's 'It's a Royal washout ...' isn't too original either. I like the picture sitting above the titlepiece though. Is this the furthest down the page that a masthead has ever been? There are those who think this approach is marketing suicide but it looks pretty eye-catching to me. 
The Daily Telegraph takes the safe option with 'Happy and Glorious' and then bolts on a post-colon 'The River Queen.' A mix of a song lyric and a film title. A colon in a headline often suggests indecisiveness. I might have just gone for one, probably the film title. 
The Express uses a colon and also nicks a line from the National Anthem (well, sort of), paired with 'Our Diamond Queen.' 
Another colon in The Independent which decides 'Build More turbines: poll shows public wants wind farms' is its best headline of the day. Given that its Jubilee headline is 'Even the weather turned up,' it is probably a good call. Good picture though.
The Times has a wraparound which, on the newstands looks like a huge headshot of the Queen, along with the most understated front page headline of the day 'The Queen's Diamond Jubilee.' Inside the wrap is the paper with the headline 'Her Royal navy' which works nicely under a great photograph of the cluttered Thames. It is just a little unusual to have the wrap as well as a front page ... but it's an effective way of getting two display pages.

The Mail appreciates that it's all about the pictures and relegates the headline to the bottom right of the page. It opts for a harmless 'Elizabeth rules the waves' pun. Its back page though is spectacular ... no headline required.
The red tops, predictably, come up with the best headline efforts.

The Sun's 'Drip, drip hooray' manages to capture the gloomy weather angle without having to resort to the predictable puns. 
I think the Mirror edges it though. 'Look at all those people Philip, look at them' captures the Queen's genuine surprise. A first person quote is always a great option - especially when it's an off guard moment by the head of state. All in all some great pictures, but largely average headlines. At least nobody used 'Long to rain over us ...' or 'Would Jubileeve it'.

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