Making the Front Page


| 1/15/2009 1:06:07 PM


front pagesLast week, the New York Times announced that it would begin running ads on the front page in response to lagging revenues. A1 purists emitted a chorus of gasps, but pragmatic observers weren't as horrified. After all, plenty of newspapers around the country already print front-page ads; it’s a move that helps them stay afloat in an economy that’s been unkind to print media. James Barron, a contributor to The New York Times: The Complete Front Pages, thinks that changes to a paper's front page offer telling glimpses into larger journalistic trends. He recently talked with On the Media about shifting journalistic practices and 150 years of changes to A1.

Barron has a stockpile of interesting examples. He points to a headline from the assassination attempt on Teddy Roosevelt:

Maniac in Milwaukee Shoots Colonel Roosevelt. He Ignores Wound, Speaks an Hour, Goes to Hospital.

Besides being incredibly long, it wears its opinions on its sleeve in a way that papers now avoid. It’s difficult to imagine a reporter calling anyone a ‘maniac’ anymore.

Barron also sees the move away from obvious editorializing in the difference between reports of the Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations. Lincoln’s death was described as ‘awful news,’ while Kennedy’s was related in more clinical terms.



Check out the interview to hear Barron’s take on other notable changes to the Times’ A1. In particular, there’s an interesting discussion about what an increasing focus on online journalism means for the future of the front page. 

Miranda Trimmier
1/16/2009 12:51:31 PM

The New York Times ran an article a couple of days ago about magazines finding unconventional ways to incorporate ads on their covers: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/16/business/media/16adco.html?_r=1




Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!




Facebook Instagram Twitter