Front Page Friday: Virginian-Pilot


It is that time of the week again. It is time to look at my favorite newspaper front page of the week.

As always, I culled through the front pages shown at Newseum.org and picked my favorite.

So here it is:

The Virginian-Pilot

The front page of The Virginian-Pilot from March 5, 2010 (via Newseum.org).

Today, this front page really jumped out at me because of its interesting layout.

It is for today’s Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va., and what struck me about this page design was that a story was placed above the flag. Now, I could see doing that for a very important story, but in this particular incident it doesn’t seem merited.

Sure, the story of a person who was getting charged fees from her bank for donations she made to Haiti relief is interesting, perhaps even unique, but is it earth-shattering enough to be put above the flag? I don’t think so.

Maybe this is a standard practice for The Pilot, but I’m not sure I like it. Such a treatment could work with a tabloid-sized paper, but The Pilot is a broadsheet. It doesn’t work.

And don’t even get me started on The Pilot using a posed shot for the art of this story above the flag. It is horrible! I hate staged pictures, especially when they are given more dominance than they merit.

The one thing I do like about that story above the flag is the text. It is handled in a magazine style with paragraph symbols marking where new paragraphs would go. This prevents extra room for paragraph returns from being taken up and throwing off the rectangular design of that package.

The page’s centerpiece package was interesting too. It is just a bunch of teasers, but I would have read them and dove deeper into the paper to learn more.

Over all, buying today’s Virginian-Pilot would have been “worth every penny,” despite the oddity of that top package.

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