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27 April 2016

Which paper couldn’t find room for Hillsborough on its front page?

Go on, guess.

By Media Mole


The unlawful killing verdict in the Hillsborough inquest has, quite rightly, dominated the news over the last 24 hours. As Neil Atkinson wrote in these pages yesterday, the disaster was a national disgrace that is still ruining lives today.

It makes sense, therefore, that this morning’s newspapers would reflect this story on their front pages. They mostly look like this (all pictures via @suttonnick and #tomorrowspaperstoday):

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It’s not just considered to be a “tabloid” story, either:

Even the right-wing papers – generally not the first in line to have a go at the police, this mole observes – had space for it:

Even the Express made space above its latest wonder drug story for the verdict:

And, of course, the Liverpool Echo has a fantastic splash:

So why, you might ask, did Britain’s biggest-selling daily paper not have room for this clearly important story?

Well, this has a lot to do with it:

The paper’s 1989 coverage was based on claims by unnamed police sources, blaming fans for the disaster. In 2012, after the Hillsborough Independent Panel report, the paper printed a front page apology:

Yet today it can only find room for a small leader column noting the tragedy:

And yet, the truth of what happened at Hillsborough still isn’t front page news, as far as the Sun is concerned.

Update, 12.39pm 27 April:

The Times has issued an apology for not including the Hillsborough story on its first edition:

“The Times lead with Hillsborough coverage on all our digital editions throughout the day. This morning we have covered it extensively in the paper with two spreads, the back page, a top leader and an interactive on the victims. We made a mistake with the front page of our first edition, and we fixed it for the second edition.”

The first edition looked like this:

The second, updated version: