Front pages

Denver Post frontpage via Newseum

Super Bowl front pages: ‘Seasick’ vs. ‘Champs’

The Denver Post’s front page reflects the beating the Broncos took Sunday:

While The Seattle Times goes with a simple “Champs”: Read more

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Cold fronts: Snow hits newspapers’ front pages

Yeah, there’s more snow in the Northeast and more newspaper fronts to show it. Unlike with the Polar Vortex, however, this time, people seem fashionably prepared, even if public works departments did not.

In Asheville, N.C., the Citizen-Times found Bruce and his owner dressed to chill.

AM New York found a woman and her coffee ready for the cold.

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Bored with cold, Chicago paper fronts puppies

Tuesday morning’s front pages are mostly divided between Florida State’s victory in the BCS Championship Monday and the “polar vortex” blasting cold air over much of the country.

Chicago’s RedEye takes a counterintuitive tack: “We’re tired of looking at snow and ice, so we put puppies on the cover instead!”

(Image courtesy the Newseum) Read more

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‘Chi-beria’: Newspaper front pages note record cold in Midwest

As snow and cold slam into the Midwest, the region’s newspapers are offering the country a look at the polar weather up close. All front pages courtesy the Newseum.

In St. Louis, which has had more than a foot of snow so far, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch shows a motorist in a haze:

St. Louis’s deep cold made the news in Washington, where the forecast predicts highs in the mid-40s:

Read more

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As fewer people read newspapers, more share their front pages

Newspapers are dying. But their front pages aren’t.

At a time when print advertising revenue continues to decline and publications are laying off staff in droves, newspaper covers are increasingly being shared digitally — helped along by the ease of posting on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms.

But why? More than anything, these A1s are seen as an encapsulation of a historical event, to be seen and filed away for a distant time when we want to remember how much something mattered in its day.

Sharing a front on Twitter — or saving a digital copy as a PDF — is the modern-day equivalent of cutting out and saving a page from a significant edition, or just a funny New York tabloid front.


“Whatever the newspaper industry is struggling with today, there is a long history of front pages capturing history with a kind of permanence,” said Mark Jurkowitz, associate director of the Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project, in a phone interview.

Front pages provide a “sense of permanence in a broadcast culture where things disappear quickly,” he said, mentioning the infamous (in journalism circles) “Dewey Defeats Truman” Chicago Tribune front page.

And, largely, that significance has not faded over time.

When Nelson Mandela’s death was announced on Dec. 5, many journalists used Twitter to share newspaper front pages honoring the former South African leader.

BuzzFeed ran an item chronicling the covers: “Nelson Mandela’s Death, As Told By Newspaper Front Pages.” (Poynter collected them, too, as it often does after major news events.)

Richard Deitsch, a writer/reporter for Sports Illustrated, used Twitter to share Mandela A1s from a variety of national and international publications.

“I still believe in the power a newspaper front page represents, especially for transcendent news such as the death of a world figure,” Deitsch wrote in an email.


Before listing some of his favorite Mandela cover tributes in a post, Rob Alderson, editor-in-chief of the U.K. design analysis site It’s Nice That, referenced the adage that newspapers are the front page of history.

“The nature of the digital world is by definition quite ephemeral,” Alderson said in a follow-up email. “People still look to print media to memorialize events like this, to frame their reactions and, going forward, their memories.”

Furthermore, because of the 24-hour news cycle, front page designers must use headlines and cover designs to make “contextualizing statements about major news events” rather than simply giving the Five W’s about a story, which most people will already know by the time they crack open the paper in the morning, Jurkowitz added.

Writing in Poynter last December, Julie Moos highlighted how many newspapers attempted to do just that following the Newtown, Conn., school shooting.

To sum up the national mood of despair, some of the most powerful covers opted for massive, one-word-long headlines — “SHATTERED,” “HORRIFIC” and “UNTHINKABLE” were just a few of them.

Image courtesy the Newseum

But national tragedies are not the only time when front pages are highlighted.

When the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in late October, many news site ran front-page aggregations the next day. featured an item called “Red Sox hit the front pages,” and ran a slideshow of “the front pages for the Boston Red Sox World Series championship win from newspapers in New England and across the country.”

Much of this digital cover-sharing is made possible by the Newseum, which every morning posts front pages from hundreds of newspapers around the U.S. and the world on its website for free. (I took advantage of this service when making my Local People With Their Arms Crossed Tumblr.)

Simply scanning through the pages provides a fascinating glimpse at a cornucopia of cover designs, as well as keen insights into local framing of national and international news stories.

“I find my Twitter followers really appreciate seeing how news is presented in locations away from theirs,” said Deitsch, who has more than 100,000.

The front-page portal is one of the Newseum’s most popular features, its online managing editor Sharon Shahid said. It’s essentially the online version of the A1 page display visible at the brick-and-mortar Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue NW in D.C.

Taking a page from glossy magazine covers, newspaper front pages have become more aesthetically pleasing and interesting over the last 15 years, Shahid said.

She attributes the change in part to a desire to create covers that get people talking, get people reading, and, perhaps most importantly, are worth saving in print or sharing online.

“You do what you have to do to draw readers because they’re not reading print newspapers,” Shahid said in a phone interview. “What do [newspapers] have to lose?”

(Jurkowitz echoed this sentiment. “There’s been a lot of energy in recent years to make front pages look better,” he said.)

That being said, there’s no evidence that share-worthy cover designs generate more interest in print publications, Jurkowitz said.

“I think cover sharing definitely drums up interest in journalism brands, but I imagine that’s ultimately reflected more in the digital arm of the brand more than the print product,” Deitsch added.

In looking at the wide variety of touching tributes to Mandela’s life on newspaper covers throughout the U.S. and abroad, Shahid called it evidence “that newspapers offer something that no one else does.”

But, she added, “I don’t think they’re going to be around forever.” Read more

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‘The Lion Sleeps’: Nelson Mandela front pages

News of Nelson Mandela’s death Thursday at 95 led most world newspapers Friday. Since many newspapers used similar photos of South Africa’s first black president, type, headlines and design made certain pages stand out. All images courtesy the Newseum.

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‘Seared Into Our Soul’: JFK front pages

It’s not surprising that many newspapers used their front-pages Friday to acknowledge the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination. But many did notable work, whether via artwork created for the occasion, front pages from 50 years ago or headlines that stress local connections to JFK. A small sampling of Friday fronts (there are way too many to salute them all). All images courtesy the Newseum.

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For Veterans Day, some newspapers tell love stories

Newseum | The Washington Post | CJR | Time

Most of the country’s newspapers led the day with images of flags, or veterans, young and old, together and alone, remembering and trying to forget. But a few newspapers told love stories.

The Gainesville Sun fronts a story from the Salisbury (N.C.) Post that’s woven through letters during World War II.

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‘Global Stuporstar’: How Canadian newspapers played Rob Ford crack admission

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford told reporters Tuesday that he had smoked crack, “Probably in one of my drunken stupors.” One PR professional told the CBC Ford’s admission, which followed months of denial and a recent PR counteroffensive, seemed like “one of the most unconventional and mind-boggling communications strategies that I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Here’s how the news played on some Canadian newspapers:

Image courtesy the Newseum
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Newspapers show clouds over D.C. as shutdown looms

The U.S. government will shut down Tuesday morning if Congress doesn’t make progress on a funding dispute. But real clouds, too, have loomed over Washington, D.C., at times over the past few days, and the combination of weather and whether-or-not proved irresistible for some front-page designers.

USA Today (image courtesy the Newseum)
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