I may be dreaming of Layout for a few weeks...

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Layout! I can't hold back my excitement! I'm really looking forward to this aspect of News Writing, because I didn't get a lot of experience with layout in high school, because I was a copy editor. I rarely touched layout. I've helped Maddie a few times with The Setonian, but I have to say I was pretty excited about this assigned text--and not just because there was barely anything to read either...

I've decided to analyze each front page separately, and leave comments about what I like or think works best, and what doesn't work, etc.

  • I was surprised that there was only one story on the cover. Because I don't speak the language, I have no idea of knowing if it was just a really important story or if they had nothing else that was worthy of front-page news. I have a feeling the latter is less likely.
  • I loved the color on the page, and the cut-out of the woman. However, I feel like it gives a very "featurey" feel, and I'm not sure it's appropriate for a front page. The cutout is great, but maybe taking away the color would've made the tone a little more serious.
  • Why is there an Ad on the front page of this newspaper? I thought it was a little unprofessional? Usually Ads don't appear until later in the issue, when space is more available. I find it really hard to believe that the editors couldn't find another story to fill that space? Or, couldn't they have just increased the size of the directory's font? It seemed really squished to me.
  • There's not a lot of text, but it seems to work for this publication. The phrase "a picture's worth a thousand words" really comes to mind here. I don't think words could capture the excitement of this team quite like the photo does.
  • I really didn't like the smaller font above the larger headline. It kinda confused me. I'm used to the headline being large, and the sub-head being slightly smaller. It threw me off
  • This publication had a very nice variety of fonts, and surprisingly they seemed to work well together; they really didn't draw away from the publication itself.
  • There wasn't much of a directory on this publication, but I guess that's not always a necessity.
  • I thought this publication was extremely busy. The different fonts (especially the different colors of the fonts) was really distracting. I don't think it really helped hold together this publication. If anything, it separated it into chunks.
  • I really liked the semi-cutout of the whale. it gave the paper a nice illustration that seems to jump out of the page, which parallels the whale jumping out of the water.
  • I really didn't like the cutout of the football player. Actually, it wasn't the cutout I didn't like--it was the fact that it covered part of the title of the publication. If the layout people had just made the football player a little smaller, they could've used his head as the "o" in "today," and I think that would've looked so much better.
  • I really liked how this publication divided up its stories with lines and such.
  • Again with the advertisement on the front page? Really? That's the perfect size for a directory, don't you think? I really feel like the Ad takes away from the rest of the page.
  • The publication does a great job of pairing every front-page story with either an image or a picture. Visuals always help to draw in readers.
  • Like the Hawaii pub., this one has great cutouts that take up half the title of the newspaper. Now, I get that most readers already know the title of the paper, but I just feel like these huge cutouts really draw away from the paper. They're very distracting.
  • I really don't understand why so many publications have ads at the very bottom of their newspapers. I just feel like there are much more important things to be said on the front page than an ad for a wound center. However, I'm forgetting that a front-page ad probably costs an arm and a leg, so it's a great source of income for newspapers
  • The center image on the page is great. It really draws people in, and the image really says a lot. Personally, one of the first things I saw was the guy in the background sitting in the kayak without shoes on. It made me think, "Hmm, I wonder why..." and want to read the article.
  • Even though I didn't like the cutouts at the top of the page, they do serve as excellent teasers for the sports sections.
  • You can clearly see what matters to this paper--sports. And more sports. But, then again, the main picture again says a lot. I really liked the white text on the photo too, because it really popped on the page.
  • Like the Border Mail, this publication reminded me more of a magazine than a newspaper, but I'm not saying that's a bad thing.
  • I really liked that the directory on this front page served as a divider between two stories. Without that, it would've been harder to tell which story the photo belonged to without reading at least one of the articles.
  • The sports action photos at the top of the page are excellent teasers. They also showcase the talent that this newspaper has.
  • I thought the random change in one of the headline's fonts (lower left story) was a little strange. It doesn't really fit with the theme of the rest of the front page, and I don't understand why this was done
  • I'm not sure if anyone else noticed this, but the image of the family standing in front of the artwork is a photograph something that's in the larger photo. I really liked that. It really gave a sense of unity to the story, and illustrated that someone actually lives in the beautiful home--it's not just a decoration.
  • I don't understand how someone's home could be front-page news, but I also didn't take the time to squint to try to read the article either. Surely there's something else going on that might be more important than their house. This feels more like a feature than a news piece.
New York Daily News
  • This front page really doesn't say all that much. I guess that can be good or bad. It's about sports, obviously, but it doesn't go into a ton of detail. This could be a very effective lead.
  • The white text really jumps out of the image too. Very effective
  • Again with the tiny headlines followed by a huge sub-head. I just don't get it...And, these headlines really don't say much about the article itself. It isn't until the article that we understand that the kids were excited about a concert with Akon.
  • I really liked the main photo, though. It's a great candid, and it really illustrated how excited the people at the concert really were.
  • On a side note, I really enjoyed reading the 2-minute times. They were kinda random, but interesting all the same.
  • I like that this front page is divided into a lot of boxes. The stories themselves are boxed in, and it helps to keep readers from becoming confused while reading.
  • Photoshop at its best! I loved that they were able to plaster Obama's face behind a surgeon's mask. It really sends across a strong message.
  • They also pulled the seafoam green of the surgeon robes and put it in part of the headline. I really liked that--it takes me back to my days on my yearbook staff, but that's another story.
  • The statistics next to the article are a great addition to this front page. It gives readers something to look at other than a ton of text.
  • Out of all the front pages, I think this one is the best. Even though it too has a "featurey" feel, it's very effective. The visuals are great, and there are still other stories covered on the front page, but Obama's healthcare plan is clearly the most important part.

3 Comments

Josie Rush said:

Referring to De Standard: I also was surprised that there was only one story. I wonder, was it just a *really* slow news day? Was the story that important? I don't know what would justify taking up the entire front page with just one story.
On the other side of things, West Hawaii Today was definitely crowded. Could the sports story have waited until a later page? This many stories is a little overwhelming.

Aja Hannah said:

Wow. That is in depth. To Josie's comment, I made a similar link to Jen Prex's blog entry about it being a slow news day.

Jessie Author Profile Page said:

I was really thrown by how many of the front pages only had one story on the front page. You'd think they would want a little more variety on their pages. They must've had a "really" slow news day, but even so, I'm sure they could find *something* else to put on there, right?

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