Derry Journal Bloody Sunday 50th anniversary edition named Front Page of the Year

The Derry Journal’s special edition to mark the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday has won Front Page of the Year in two competitions in the UK.

The latest accolade was announced by journalist and media specialist organisation Hold the Front Page on Tuesday.

This comes two months after the Journal collected another Front Page of the Year award for the same edition at a National World awards ceremony in Leeds in October.

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The 50th anniversary edition of the Derry Journal, published in January 2022, five decades on from this paper’s contemporary coverage of the horrific killings of innocent civilians on the streets of Derry during an anti-internment march in January`1972, was dedicated to the families of those killed, the wounded and the people of Derry who have been the wind at their backs during the long campaign for truth and justice.

The Derry Journal editions front pages from 1972 and 2022.

The special edition, which was reprinted after requests for copies came in from across the world, featured the heart-rending stories of some of the families, the memories of local people and messages, a timeline and images of the events in and around Bloody Sunday

The simple front page carried the message ‘Never Forget’, with an image from that day reproduced with kind permission by Gilles Peress/ Magnum Photos. It featured an image of local man Paddy Walsh trying to reach the fatally wounded Paddy Doherty in an act of heroism and humanity amid the violence visited on Derry that day when Paratroopers opened fire.

Hold The Front Page said the Derry Journal scored ‘a runaway victory in our annual poll for its dramatic front page Never Forget’.

“The bi-weekly title, one of the oldest continuously published newspapers in the UK, celebrated its 250th birthday last June having started life as the Londonderry Journal and General Advertiser in 1772.

National World Front Page of the Year award.

“Its commemorative front page marking 50 years since the January 1972 massacre which led to the deaths of 14 people gained more than 6,200 votes in our poll, totalling 89pc of those cast.

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“Scottish daily The National’s Wordle-themed front page on the Partygate scandal was a distant second with the Liverpool Echo’s Whose Side Are You On? splash following the killing of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel placed third."

Derry Journal Editor Brendan McDaid said: “This, the second award for the edition we produced over recent months, we dedicate to the people of the Derry.

"We thank the families and eyewitnesses for retelling their stories – stories of horror, trauma and ultimately a story of humanity and courage as they fought for truth and justice, with the people of this city and this island standing with them on their long quest to set the record straight.

Front Page of the Year.
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"I also want to pay tribute to our editorial staff who worked on this edition: Kevin Mullan, Sean McLaughlin, Laura Glenn, Daire Ní Chanáin, Michael Wilson, Simon Collins, Kevin McLaughlin, photographer George Sweeney and freelance journalist Conor McClean.

"I also want to thank our colleagues in advertising and memorials and all those who submitted contributions.

"We set out to create something special and fitting and it meant a lot to each of us that what we produced was so well received locally. Thank you to everyone who voted.”