Friday afternoon, Josh Crutchmer, Rob Schneider and Jonathan Berlin spoke on a panel about the state of front pages across the country and world.
As Berlin put it, Crutchmer played the role of the bad cop while he played the good cop.
“Your first impression of that day’s paper is from that page,” said Crutchmer.
He showed pages from various newspapers and explained some trends that aren’t working on front pages, or at least things that need to be discussed.
The similarities of newspapers across the country was one of Crutchmer’s main points. He asked the questions: Why do we always play stories the same way on days with big breaking news? What is benefitting readers the most?
Each newspaper has an identity and some newspapers, like the New York Times, are great at showing how a brand and identity can stick for years.
Berlin showed off newspaper organization’s pages that should be aspired to. Looking at a lot of papers from Europe and the U.S., he explained how news organizations are owning an idea to the fullest. How can a paper take an idea and push the limits in a smart way for the reader?
Laying information is important, even on pages with a lot of content. Helping the reader digest information is key.
The take away from the session overall is this: Let the content drive a page’s design, especially A1. Don’t let the design drive the content. If you’re going to be bold, then go for it – all the way.