One of These Things is Not Like the Other: Why West Hawaii Today Should've Played This Game
In the West Hawaii Today paper, the pictures overlapping with the text is the sort of visual pull a casual observer may need to take a closer look. However, as Angela mentions in her blog, the headline "Ondoy leaves more than 100 dead, missing" seems to contrast too much with the "fun" pictures. While the headline is important news, it's poorly juxtaposed on a page with a whale reaching into a column of text and a football player hauling back to make a pass.
Though, does that really matter? The front page has already done its job; it's grabbed a potential reader's attention. Is that headline placement a little tacky? Possibly. Will the reader be so appalled by its placement that she tosses the paper aside? Probably not. 100 people dead or missing is big news, and, while we don't know what the rest of the paper contains, we can probably assume that many of the other stories paled in comparison to the confusion, panic, and thirst for information that this story undoubtedly provided.
I also can't imagine that those in charge of layout can wait for a day of purely happy news to include pictures of wildlife and athletics on the front page. There will always be a somber story to include. I'm the first to agree that it's odd to see Free Willy leaping towards a headline about death and destruction, but in this case, I don't think the oddity would have cost the paper any readers.