Page last updated at 12:32 GMT, Monday, 27 April 2009 13:32 UK
Billboards from around the country

Billboard from Northern Ireland peace process

Our perception of the most momentous, defining events of history is often shaped by the newspaper billboards that pithily brought the news to the public.

Take a picture of a local newspaper billboard
We asked for your photos of billboards to build up a picture of a week in local news
All your pictures can be seen on our Newspaper Billboards group on photo sharing website Flickr
The group is now effectively closed

Newspaper billboards are designed to do one thing - to draw the eye of a passer-by and persuade them to buy a paper that they would otherwise not have bought.

The best ones communicate their message in a stark, sparse style, using few, but dramatic, words, and conveying a sense of immediacy.

Although the advent of TV and radio and the decline of the evening newspaper has reduced the importance of the billboard in delivering us first word of an event, they are still important for local papers.

Whether it be hospital closures, crime or the machinations of local government billboards communicate even with those who don't regularly buy a paper.

As part of our series on billboards, we are asking readers to go out and take photographs of any newspaper billboards they see in their areas. See the factbox for how to do this.

Newspaper boy Ned Parfett sells copies of the Evening News telling of the Titanic maritime disaster, outside the White Star Line offices at Oceanic House in London's Cockspur Street

This newspaper boy, Ned Parfett, is advertising his paper, the Evening News, in the one place where the people passing probably already had read all about it. He is outside the offices of White Star Line - the firm that owned the Titanic - at Oceanic House in London's Cockspur Street.

A man displays a billboard in the Strand as war is declared

Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939 at 11.15am. The news came early enough for the evening newspaper deadlines.

Another bill from that day was also written with three words - "WAR DECLARED OFFICIAL" - confirming what many had feared since the German invasion of Poland on 1 September.

Billboards during Falklands war

The Falklands War started at the beginning of April 1982 but the main hostilities did not commence until the arrival of the British task force several weeks later.

This billboard has been superseded by the story being read by the man on the right. It reveals the death of 21 men when a Sea King helicopter crashed into the sea. It was reported that most of those on board were SAS members.

Billboards in hunt for killer of Jill Dando

One of the most shocking crime stories of recent decades was the murder of Jill Dando on her doorstep in April 1999. She was killed with a single gunshot to the head

This billboard also carries a photofit image of the suspected killer.

Billboards from July bombings of London in 2005

The bombings on 7 July 2005 in the centre of London claimed the lives of 52 victims.

The billboard on the left simply says "many dead" and the death toll remained unclear for much of the day.

Billboard showing developments from bank rescue

Newspaper billboards on display in the City and Canary Wharf have documented many of the key days in the battle to stop the world economy sliding into meltdown.

Here workers walks past a billboard that describes developments in the banking rescue.

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