Election Coverage: a Look at Newspaper Fronts

By Beacon Staff

This may be a day late in getting to, but I always think it’s worth looking at how different newspapers from around the country look the day after big events – and this week’s was immense.

Anyone can access the day’s front pages from around the globe at the Web site Newseum. If you’re interested in newspaper design and picture editing there is plenty to be learned by spending some time here each day. What struck me about the designs after the 2008 election was that there were a lot of similarities between the “risks” newspapers were taking on their front design – dare I say they were all the same and only a couple really stuck out as being different and innovative.

My favorite was the Chicago Sun-Times. I thought it strange that they opted to go with a previously photographed portrait and not with a photograph from the event coverage. I suppose this is in line with the progression of newspapers looking more like magazines and less like traditional newspapers. I find the design magnificent and the simplicity of “Mr. President” is powerful.

Possibly the most progressive front I found was the Hartford Courant that ran a strict horizontal photograph across the page turned sideways. I wonder how this looked in the newspaper boxes.

Hartford Courant, Wednesday, November 5, 2008.

Below are a few more front pages I found the designs to be superb – but again notice the general sameness. (I just noticed that Charles Apple said the same thing on his blog (here). He has a clearer explanation why this might occur.)

Election Newspaper Front Pages, Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mr. Apple also points out the Orlando Sentinel released a fantastic fist edition front, left, and then 45 minutes later “chased its run, adding a wrap”, (right). I love it.

Orlando Sentinel, Wednesday, November 5, 2008.

I have heard from a few friends on mine across the country that the election papers are selling out. I have hear that the Clarion-Ledger reprinted 10,000 of Wednesday’s issue and people were waiting in a line out the door to purchase them. When those sold out the paper printed another 25,000 copies.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press will be reprinting the front page inside the A section of Saturday’s paper. The Press Enterprise in California printed the front in today’s paper. The Washington Post has a story today (here) about printing an additional 350,000 copies.

Maybe people care about newspapers yet.