Robin Fletcher

While
Nelson Mandela’s visit to the UK was not a hard story to cover, the
Independent ‘s simple headline “Another Nelson towers over Trafalgar
Square” was an elegant mix of wordplay, geography and history.

And
although it has come in for some stick for views-led front pages, the
Indie’s dramatic coverage of an exploding star seen by the Hubble
telescope was a reminder of its glory days as the paper that really
cared about using pictures well.

In the magazine world,
Management Today always impresses with its highly readable spread
called Brain Food. It comprises seven snippets, from a “foot-in-mouth”

award for dodgy communications, to a “slogan doctor” look at great ad straplines.

On
the subject of mags, the Saturday Telegraph’s graphic on how the
hi-tech soldier might look was compelling, original and strangely
youthful for that crusty bastion of conservatism.

On the
airwaves, any newspaper editor who hasn’t tuned into the Jeremy Vine
Show on Radio 2 is missing out on a masterclass on how to make
interactive journalism live and interesting (while still playing good
music). Vine’s gently provocative handling of listeners’calls, texts and emails, while remaining neutral, makes him surely a future Question Time chair.

Finally,
full marks to the Western Mail for its beautiful front page showing a
rugby ball and the words “Just Do It” on the morning of the Wales v
England match. For years the paper has done a series of very clever and
artistic match-day covers, but this one borrowed the Nikeinfluenced
words of their star columnist Gareth Edwards and proved the old adage
“Keep it simple”.

It worked for them – and for Wales too!

Robin
Fletcher is a freelance consultant and journalist and former editor of
the South Wales Echo, Wales on Sunday and the Blackpool Gazette

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