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Country Press SA

Best Front Page


Judged by Wendy Creighton

My first and lasting impression of the front page entries was that South Australian readers are fortunate in their rural and regional newspapers. There may be a formulaic look to the overall style of the entries, but overall, it is underpinned by the excellence of the quality and composition of the photographs and hyper-local lead stories. The first place winner was the an easier choice due to layout and design, but choosing the second and third placegetters came down to the point scores, with the selection based on minor detractions. I have lived the life of the push and panic of fast approaching deadlines and the need to ‘just finish’ rather than spend time tweaking in a bid to change a good front page into an excellent front page. My congratulations to all the teams behind the front page entries … I applaud you.

First: Barrier Truth – Saturday, October 21, 2023

A stand-out entry. The reader’s eye is first drawn by the photo – icebergs on the front page of a local newspaper circulating in Broken Hill and surrounds must be a rarity. Next the reader’s interest is piqued by a superb two-line headline declaring the cancellation of Christmas. The main photo is sharp, well balanced and colourful and the inset headline and paragraph give a quick understanding of the local ‘hook’. The main story headline is succinctly explained in the pull quote and text from the local story that supports it. Overall, the layout and design is excellent - clean and clear, balanced and free of clutter – and the colour choices in the pointers under the masthead complement the main photo. An outstanding front page.

Second: The Southern Argus – Thursday, July 6, 2023

The mosaic of photographs and graphics compiled to illustrate the Centenary feature of a local football club inside the edition is well executed and draws the eye – it is also a step away from the normal front page, single landscape photograph and it works well. The main three word headline is also excellent - intriguing the reader to read on. Local stories, a solid pointer to an important story inside the edition but the green shadowed box around the main story pull quote would have worked better with the headline if it had been white text on black and without the shadow. Overall, an excellent front page.

Third: Yorke Peninsula Country Times – Tuesday, July 18, 2023

A solid front page that had all the elements of success. But the main headline detracts from the overall layout as it is unbalanced and while readers may understand the acronym, it causes a pause and hence a loss of impact. Overall, a good front page, which was worthy of a placing in a line up of excellent entries.


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