Front Page Layout of Newspapers

I analyzed the front pages of three prominent newspapers: The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.  Each is listed in the top five most widely read newspapers.  The New York Times features four photos and one advertisement.  There are six main articles featured as well as three small sections: ‘International, National, and New York.’  The Wall Street Journal consists of four main articles.  The paper has one large picture in its center, two charts/graphs, one small picture, and one ad.  On the left a “What’s New” and “What’s Ahead” column are listed.  The Washington Post has five major articles and two main photos on its front page.  The photos are categorized by themselves with captions underneath.  There is a small section at the bottom for the articles that didn’t quite make it.

The NY Times is a highly regarded newspaper with in depth details and sources.  Call me crazy, but I have never been a huge fan of The New York Times.  I’d much rather read USAToday than NYTimes.  NYTime’s writing might be better and more respected, but USAToday’s online layout is much more efficient.  The Times is far too cluttered and ordinary for me.  Their online publication is even worse.  First of all the front page ad shouldn’t be the same size or bigger as the pictures.  While it is good to take up white space, it is not good to overwhelm the reader with a plethora of small black lettering.  The publication should reduce some of the articles.  First of all some of the stories are not front page worthy.  Second, it’s useful to leave out certain materials that way the reader will want to read more.  Also, the pictures for today’s paper do little the paper’s status.  While NYTimes does supply excellent photos most of the time, these photos do not deliver any impact or emotion.  The photos are far too plain and the sizing seems almost inaccurate.

The Wall Street Journal has an appropriate layout.  The ‘What’s New and What’s Ahead’ feature are very unique.  These features really work for their publication.  I like the additional charts; they are exactly what the front page needed.  The ad, however, needs to be a bit smaller.  It wouldn’t hurt if those special features were smaller and placed horizontally at the bottom.  With that new layout, there would either have to be one smaller article or photo.  I recommend another photo, just because I’m a visual person.

The Washington Post supplies my favorite layout.  The Post is my go to newspaper in general.  I don’t know if that makes what I’m about to say biased, but oh well.  I like the two major photos.  Both photos captivate the reader’s attention.  However, I wished the photos were not separated by the lines.  That way the reader could easily see which photo went with which article.  It’s not rocket science, but it’s a more effective process.  There is just enough white space in this article without it looking messy or bare.  Each article is positioned properly so everything looks nice and symmetric.  Also, the ad is not too large and distracting.

*The newspapers above were all viewed on April 01, 2013


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