Belfast Telegraph


There’s a reason why all journalists have heard the phrase ‘bad news sells’ so many times. Front pages are dominated by death, destruction, scandal, crime and all manner of societal problems. At times it seems that all human life is on there, except for the good bits. It hardly needs saying that the Belfast Telegraph is no exception to this rule. So when a good news story comes around it’s great to be able to highlight it. After almost two years of Covid, by the time 2022 began we were ready for some positivity and Sir Kenneth Branagh gave us it in spades. His movie Belfast, a love-letter to his native city, picked up seven Academy Award nominations in early February. For a newspaper with the word ‘Belfast’ in its masthead, it was too great an opportunity to miss. We cleared the first five pages and, with an exclusive interview with the man himself, produced a front page full of joy and ebullience that seemed to fit this particular good news story. Production editor Gary Law chose a fantastic photograph of Sir Kenneth, with arms outstretched and a look of satisfaction, and built the page around it. The image just jumps off the page and brings everything else with it. It looks completely natural but also very different. It’s bright and seems to capture the tone of his ‘I’m in a daze’ headline quote perfectly. And like all the best stories this one had a happy ending, with Sir Kenneth picking up the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay on the night.