Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Nice one, Son ...

Here's the challenge. There are no pictures of the baby, no name, nothing that hasn't been online and not even a picture of the beaming dad leaving the hospital. So how were newsrooms going to pick the bones out of that one?

Well, full marks to The Sun ... a flash of brilliance. The po-faced Twitterati didn't all like it but credit where credit is due. And it's arguably more interesting than the event itself. Heirs to the throne come along every so often ... but when was the last time a newspaper changed its name into a headline? 

The Times goes for one of its trademark wraps - a striking picture of Kate is self contained on Page 1. Bizarrely it doesn't mention anywhere on the front or the back that it's a boy (I guess everyone knows already). It does look like it could have all been done in advance so everyone could go home. Powerful coverage though.

The Media Blog put together this neat spoof for The Times instead, reflecting the mood of the hacks outside the hospital ... and possibly the nation. It even mentions that it's a boy.

The Daily Mail took the focus off the couple and on to the grandad. Charles was out and about in York so live pictures were available. A nice bit of sideways thinking. Plenty of knockers for this angle too - but, come on, it's a live picture (and a good one too). An original front.

The Independent also deals with the story in its time-honoured way - by not leading on it.

My friends at The Irish News in Belfast can go one better than that though. Sticking to its Nationalist roots, the paper doesn't mention the Royal Baby at all on Page 1. A newspaper that knows its audience.

The Guardian, perhaps surprisingly, does lead on the story and manages to conjure up a lot of front page words.  It uses the easel picture and a headline that tries hard to be profound.

And here's another question. When was the last time The Daily Telegraph had the same splash headline as City AM, the Star, the Express and The Irish Sun?  My Twitterfeed was strangled by the words It's a boy yesterday, so we might have expected something that takes the story forward a little. And a hat-tip to @helenlewis who tweeted to point out that a Royal Baby pullout wasn't the happiest of phrases ... sounds like a forceps delivery, she said. I would have thought hanging on until the pictures of the baby were available would be the time to run the souvenir pullout. Can there really be enough new material to warrant a supplement?

The Mirror also carries a pullout, a file picture and an Our Little Prince headline. 

All very nicely executed ... but I was hoping it might have had a bit of fun with its front page from March.

In the regions, I like The Sentinel in Stoke - going for a blue for a boy makeover, right down to the choice of picture, and a nice headline on the fact that Potteries firms will make millions from the birth.

The Northern Echo also went for It's a boy - but the King Edwards tag on the fish and chips blurb is a nice touch.

Meanwhile Private Eye simply tells it as it is. 

Thanks as always to @hendopolis and #TomorrowsPapersToday

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