Eyeing A1

A look at newspaper front pages from around the country

Archive for the ‘Front pages’ Category

A bit of irony

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Fred Hill recently ‘resigned’ as the Rutgers head coach of men’s basketball, which ended weeks of speculation about his job status.

I read a fre article on the matter,  but the best picture I found belonged to The Star Ledger.

It’s straightforward with Hill standing on the sideline looking like he is barking out orders during a game. But look a the ad scrolling by next to him.

You could make out what the ad is going to say with a popular saying, “Safe and Secure.”

Hill’s job was anything, but that. The fact The Star Ledger used this photo witht their story on firing Hill made me laugh because it’s a great example of irony.

I think the photo works well to prove the point of the story, especially since last month Rutgers AD Tim Pernetti came out and said Hill’s job was safe.Pernetti is actually the man sitting above the sign in the photo with a scrutinizing eye on Hill.

Things didn’t change at the Piscataway school until Hill got into a shouting match at Rutgers baseball where his father coaches with as assistant from Pittsburgh.

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

April 21, 2010 at 10:53 am

Looking at race on the front page

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After last week’s discussion in class, I wanted to find a newspaper front page that directly dealt with race.

I found the sub-headline aptly titled for the piece “Conflicting portrait.”

To give more meaning to that headline, The Star Ledger incorporates two photos of the black man. The first is a small headshot, but he looks angry and the photo itself actually looks darker. When looking at the newspaper it’s actually the first photo you see because many people tend to read top to bottom and left to right.

It’s interesting to note on the paper’s website, only the mug shot appears, which the reporter writes: “If a picture says a thousand words, the mug shot police released said “guilty” a thousand times.”

The man pictured in the newspaper is Lee Evans. He was arrested in March on five counts of murder in the disappearance of five teenagers 32 years ago. The article paints a portrait of Evans where is seen as a good person by his friends and family, but neighborhood folks have a much different view of him.

The lede of the story is nearly as important as the photos and the headline.

Here are the first two paragraphs:

Two pictures, one man. One continuing mystery.

Lee Evans was one of two cousins charged in March with five counts of murder in the disappearance of five city teenagers 32 years ago. Police said he was a menacing 6-foot-4, 225-pound street thug known as “Big Man” who kept a dark secret for three decades through intimidation of accomplices and witnesses. If a picture says a thousand words, the mug shot police released said “guilty” a thousand times.

By this point, he already sounds guilty. In fact, the reporter is using the image to make an argument.  Not facts or stories, but an image of the man to make a quick case. By writing these things at the very beginning of an article, the reporter is telling the viewer how to see the photo. There is not much left to intepretation.

Our brains already begin to move in one direction once we learn the headshot is actually a mugshot. That, of course, has a negative connotation associated with it.

This is a tough story because you’re dealing with a case of where is being charged with murder. Obviously, something happened where five teens are missing, but instead of writing about the boys who went missing 32 years ago, this newspaper paints a portrait of a man where they are initially negative.

Only toward the bottom of the article does it state there is no physical evidence against him and that there is only person witness.

The article ends with this:

This is not to say Evans is innocent. In Hampton’s story, only eight people would know for certain what happened on Aug. 20, 1978, and six of them are dead. That leaves Hampton and Evans.

If the police have more on him, they’re not saying. And that leaves two pictures, one man, one continuing mystery.

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

April 14, 2010 at 10:37 pm

What does this woman do for a living?

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This was the front page of Philadelphia Daily New on January 29, 2010. When you look at this, there are probably a number of different things doing through your mind all of which probably lead to sex.

It’s obviously a ploy to get people to look at the paper. And it likely worked.You have a woman who is partially clothed and glistening.

The message being received, however, has nothing to do what is actually going on. This woman has nothing to do with anything that is being portrayed on this cover.

This is Allison Baver, a olympic speed skater from Reading, Penn., which is what the Philadelphia Daily News care about her.

Around the same time this article came out, Lindsay Vonn appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated and drew the criticism of many who thought the front cover was too sexualized.

I guess they didn’t see this cover because this had more implications than anything Vonn did. Baver looks as though she belongs on the cover of Sports Illustrated rather than the Philadelphia Daily News.

Not even the alphabetic text can help this photo. This is a photo that completely takes over every voice. No matter what is written, there is only one thing people are thinking about. That is a huge problem in women who play sports. They are sensationalized for their sexiness and appearances rather than their ability.

Ten years down the line, anyone who looks at this cover isn’t going to think about a woman who competed in the Olympics. They are just going to see boobs – as people are just seeing now anyway.

By the way, here’s the entire cover:

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

March 30, 2010 at 10:00 pm

When it’s not there

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On Sunday, the House passed the health reform, which was news everywhere.

Well, almost everywhere. There was loads of coverage on television and all over the Internet. Social media sites were buzzing all night with commentary on the subject.

However, one of the most interesting things to happen in the last 24 hours were the newspapers that did not have this story on the front page of their newspapers.

TheWrap.com went through all 406 newspaper front pages today and found that just 15 did not devote some type of coverage on the front page of their paper.

Of course this could be for a number of reasons and one beyond the newspaper’s control is deadline. If the paper was done before the story got out, well, can’t control that. But, there are instances like this when a deadline should be held just a little longer. By not getting this in the paper further proves how out-dated newspapers are becoming, which for obvious reasons makes me sad.

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

March 22, 2010 at 1:40 pm

They’re always smiling

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Scouring some front pages on Newseum.org, I initially opened the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (yep, in Alaska) because there was a big picture on the front page. I just wanted to see what was so important to the paper that they felt deserved so much attention.

The photo is centered on the page and every story is around the photo, which means the reader has to look at the photo. It dominates the entire page.

The photo didn’t interest  me much, but I am sure the people of Fairbanks, Alaska could relate to a cross-country skier.

Bryan Richardson, 20, killed in Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo is from the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

I was actually struck by the article running across the top of the page. It’s about a 20-year-old boy who was shot and killed.

I’ve noticed that anytime newspapers report on someone’s death, the picture is always have them happy. I know the picture that is featured in the article and on the newspaper’s website wasn’t taken by a staff photographer. It’s obviously one given to the paper by the family.

But this often holds true for celebrities or even those that newspapers may have many pictures of.

Pictures show those who have died as usually smiling and happy in life.

Even was the case when actor Corey Haim recently passed away even though he has a history of drug abuse. I don’t have any front pages showing his mug with his infectious smile, but there are some examples on the Internet.

People magazine has a nice photo of him, even though he looks rather tired.

Why are they always smiling? What message is coming across when editors choose to show a smiling face of someone who has died rather than one that accurately portrayed who they were in life.

I’m not saying Richardson wasn’t a happy person. But, I’m sure there was more to him than a guy laying on a couch posing for a camera shot.

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

March 19, 2010 at 11:08 am

What is this picture trying to say?

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Thursday’s front page of the Los Angeles Daily News had a story on the well-being of women and how it’s on the decline. According to a report from the Los Angeles County Dept., of Health, an estimated 40 percent of women are at risk for health disease while the data rises to 53 percent for black women.

Here’s the front-page of the newspaper:

March 4, 2010 Los Angeles Daily News front page

There is so much going on with the main story. It doesn’t just lend to conventional reading, left to right, because of the statistics box and vignettes from the four different women. It’s a good concept, but the main art doesn’t seem to fit the message.

The message is clearly stated in the main headline “Unhealthy Situation.”

Certainly, there is problem if women are at such a high risk of heart disease and aren’t taking care of themselves. But a picture of a woman, who looks to be in decent shape, while walking her child in a carriage doesn’t tell sort of story. As the main, which is framed and centered on the page, should have a more compelling photo. The photo does not have a caption either to give readers a better understanding of the photo.

When it comes to newspapers front pages, usually they tend to stick with safe layouts. Solid photos with some of the best stories of the day, which are usually all news stories.

With no headline, no story – what does the main photo say to you?

I see a mother, who doesn’t have a lot of time to exercise, getting out of the house to do what she can to stay in shape. She’s not model-skinny, but she isn’t out-of-shape either. Without seeing her face and the expression she is making, it’s hard to discern her ‘well-being,’ which is part of the message of the sender.

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

March 4, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Finding the right message for Super Bowl fans

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It probably felt like the entire country watched the Super Bowl, so, naturally, the next day most of the newspaper front pages had a story or at least a refer to the Super Bowl.

Two newspapers had a bigger interest: The Indianapolis Star and Times Picayune, which is based in New Orleans.

Both of these papers had the tough task to capture the best moment of the Super Bowl. But the first thing they have to do when creating the page is to think about who is the sendee. The sender has to think about this first and then the message they want to convey because the covers wouldn’t work in the opposite market.

Here’s the cover from The Indianapolis Star the day after the Super Bowl. This one is actually the most interesting of the two. Consider the different factors of the photo.

There are two different emotions in this photo. One of the New Orleans saints celebrating and the other of Peyton Manning walking off the field.

The foreground is in focus and that’s important because that is the important factor. The Indianapolis Star focuses on the Colts, however, the emotion can’t be exactly known without the words.

The alphabetic text is arguably just as important. Without it the sendee may not understand the message.

The Times Picayune front cover is vastly different. It’s a simple photo, but notice the difference in the placement of the words and the person in the photo. The alphabetic text is first rather than the photo. In conventional form for front page of newspapers, you’re supposed to read from the top to the bottom.

So, we see the headline first ‘Amen.’ Then, below there is a picture of Drew Brees holding a trophy. The message here is for Saints fans of the Saints. Besides New Orleans winning its first Super Bowl, the fans have dealt with so many because of Hurricane Katrina.

The message of the photo is being transmitted through the trophy and the confetti. The confetti conveys there is a celebration taking place and the trophy signifies triumph. Without either, the photo would look like a content man standing around.

The Times Picayune page designer/copy editor also had to think about the receiver of the cover and what they were going through during the Super Bowl and how much the game meant to the fans. That’s where the headline comes in.

Normally, it’s a word with a religious connotation and, even though this is about a sporting event, sports can touch fans in ways that go beyond the field.

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

February 15, 2010 at 10:06 pm