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Tag: How the papers saw

Disaster Frontpage Analysis

Disaster Frontpage Analysis

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I was browsing the interwebs last week and came across webdesigner Christian Annyas’s site, specifically this post about 9/11 Newspaper headlines: design and typography. His observation that newspapers have shifted away from text in favour of large format high-quality photographs is interesting, and is certainly evidenced in my collation of Boston Bombing frontpages.

The Seattle Times frontpage was typical of the sample he looked at. A single word headline, with the rest of the page given over to an evocative image.

911 seattle

The Wall Street Journal was a notable exception, at least managing to string together a sentance headline which summarised the story. However, the page was still dominated by a photograph.

911 wsj

During the media coverage of the London Bombings in 2005, there were frequent calls for viewers to “submit their pictures and video”. We had entered the age of the Citizen Journalist (a term which has fallen out of favour since). As cameraphones and smartphones have became more pervasive, it has become increasingly easy for any member of the public to have their images syndicated across the mainstream media. I’d thought this was the driver behind this trend in newspaper front pages.

However, what Christian’s article demonstrates is that this was happening in America in 2001. That’s before Apple released the iPhone, before Facebook launched and before we had the ability to tweet. So if it’s not the ability to source pictures quickly from the scene of an emergency then what is behind this change?

There have been developments in paper and printing technology which have enabled full colour high resolution images to be reproduced. Or perhaps developments in printing technology have allowed for higher fidelity reproductions of photos. However, the cynical side of me feels that this could all boil down to economics. A good front page sells papers.

What do you think? Are newspaper publishers playing to our emotive side? How does this affect how we consume news – have you bought a paper on the basis of a good photo? Is this a trend which spills over into other forms of media? I’m interested in your thoughts – leave them below!

Image Source:

How the papers saw…Boston

How the papers saw…Boston

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I’ve already expressed my thoughts on the social media response to the Boston Marathon explosions on Monday. However, in the name of balance (and following Kenneth‘s lead) I thought I’d take a look at how newspapers covered the Boston story.

The most obvious advantage of social media is that it is ‘of the moment’, allowing near-real-time information flow, something impossible for a newspapers in hard copy format. Whilst no longer carved in stone, printed papers struggle with a publication frequency greater than morning, afternoon and evening edition (with most just opting for daily or weekly); but they do pull out all the stops for breaking news such as the Bostson incidents.



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What newspapers can’t deliver in speed, they do make up for in tracking down experts from far and wide to offer opinion and insight. The delay between incident and publication also allows for some synthesis of ‘know facts’ which can make news easier to digest.

With many newspapers moving to online editions (mostly behind paywalls though) there is a distinct blurring between Fleet St and Cyberspace, but one hings for sure, the internat allows us all to get our news faster, and in non traditional ways. As emergency planners it’s critical that we keep up with this demand to ensure the public involved in eemrgencies get information via the most appropraite medium at the right time.

In any case, hopefully “How the papers saw…” won’t be a frequent blog title…

Image Sources: Daily Mail (I refuse to link to their content) or online editions of newspaper shown