December 30, 2011

Tops of the Top Ten

San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, Calif., March 7, 2011)

Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Ill., Mon. Mar. 14, 2011)

St. Petersburg Times

St. Petersburg Times (St. Petersburg, Fla., Mon., May 2, 2011)

The Kansas City Star

The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo., Tues., May 24, 2011)


Libération (Paris, France, Fri., May 27, 2011)

Daily News

Daily News (New York, N.Y., Thurs., Aug. 11, 2011)

The Star-Ledger

The Star-Ledger ( Newark, N.J., Wed., Aug. 24, 2011)

Pioneer Press

Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn., Mon., Sept. 26, 2011)

The Ledger Independent

The Ledger Independent (Maysville, Kentucky, Thurs., Oct. 6, 2011)

The Patriot-News

The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa., Tues., Nov. 8, 2011)

Weekend Honorable Mention

Weekend Honorable Mention

Stars and Stripes

Stars and Stripes (Tokyo, Japan, Sat., March 12, 2011)

Die Presse

Die Presse (Vienna, Austria, Sun. March 13, 2011)

The Times

The Times (London, UK, Sat., April 30, 2011)

The Huntsville Times

The Huntsville Times (Huntsville, Ala., Sat. April 30, 2011)

Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Sat., July 9, 2011, Sarasota, Fla.)

Daily Press

Daily Press (Hampton Roads, Va., Sat., Aug. 27, 2011)

Belleville News-Democrat

Belleville News-Democrat (Belleville, Ill. Sat., Oct. 29, 2011)

Columbia Daily Tribune

Columbia Daily Tribune (Columbia, Mo., Sat., Oct. 29, 2011)

The Record

The Record (Stockton, Calif., Sun. Dec. 25, 2011)

Each weekday, Newseum editors peruse the front pages of more than 800 daily newspapers from 89 countries and select 10 that stand out from the rest. The five editors — one for each weekday — use their own discretion in choosing the front pages featured in "Today's Top Ten Front Pages."

The year 2011 was notable for big news stories: the deaths of Osama bin Laden, Moammar Gadhafi and Kim Jong Il; record-breaking weather, including devastating earthquakes, tornadoes, floods and tsunamis; fiscal meltdowns all over the world; Arab Spring. All of these stories were dutifully covered on the world's front pages.

For the first time since "Today's Top Ten Front Pages" was introduced in 2009, the Top Ten editors wanted to acknowledge their favorite front pages of 2011, the tops of the Top Ten.

"We recognize the year's best front pages because we think newspapers are important," said Paul Sparrow, senior vice president at the Newseum. "Creativity can elevate the daily paper to an art form. We want to encourage editors to take chances, to push the boundaries and make their newspapers a vibrant part of the community."

The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pa., made the bold move of publishing a full-page editorial on the Penn State child sex abuse scandal on Page One. The San Francisco Chronicle printed a rare color photograph of the city's Market Street in the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake. The Pioneer Press of St. Paul, Minn., used a titillating graphic and headline to highlight a provocative story on the "slut walk." The front page prompted an unusual number of responses on the Newseum's Facebook page.

All of the Top Ten year-end covers — perfect blends of compelling stories, great headlines, striking images, innovative designs, smart layouts and a bit of humor — appear chronologically and show newspapers at their very best.

The format of our weekend Top Ten — front pages from the most populous U.S. states and English-language newspaper in other countries — does not require an editor's input and often misses stand-out covers that would have made the list had they been published on weekdays.

Al-Ahram of Cairo, Egypt, was selected not only for its full-page treatment of the "young people's revolution" and the fall of Hosni Mubarak, but also for its editorial independence in covering the revolution at all. Egypt's press was downgraded in 2010 from "partly free" to "not free," due to a broad-based crackdown on bloggers and journalists by Egyptian authorities.

We offer an appreciative nod to these honorable mentions and salute Page One excellence seven days a week.

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