[Freshly updated with a few more credits that rolled in throughout the day Thursday…]
As you know, we have a new Pope. He’s from Argentina and is the first Pope ever from the Americas.
As you might imagine, papers in Argentina went crazy with the story today. But you can spot right away why I’m reluctant to spend a lot of time trying to analyze today’s front pages.
That’s right: The photo opportunities Wednesday were so limited that only a few shots emerged from Vatican City. Which gave today’s front pages an extremely homogeneous feeling.
Now, the good news is that those three papers…
- Clarín of Buenos Aires, circulation 332,601
- La Nacion of Buenos Aires, circulation 160,000
- El Territorio of Posadas, circulation unknown
…each wanted the iconic shot of the day on page one. And they got it. Readers throughout Argentina will save today’s newspaper as a keepsake.
So even though, for news design purposes, I’m not thrilled with today’s front pages, readers probably are. And that’s what matters.
In addition — as you can see there — the Newseum expects today to be a high-traffic day with plenty of hot-linking and bandwidth stealing. So they slapped watermarks on everything today.
In the past, I’ve had a no-watermark rule here in the blog. But that’s just not practical, sadly enough. So we’ll grit our teeth and dive into a few notable front pages…
THAT SAME PICTURE…
…was used by many, many U.S. newspapers. Most were smart enough to use it well — even those that built enormous page-one packages.
Here are four of my favorites:
The picture itself is by Gregorio Borgia of the Associated Press.
- Boston Globe, Boston Mass.; circulation 225,482
- Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis.; circulation 185,710
- U-T San Diego, San Diego, Calif.; circulation 230,742
- Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk, Va.; circulation 142,476
I realize I’m only showing my ignorance and unfamiliarity with Latin, but I wonder how many young people will look at that Virginian-Pilot headline and wonder: Why is there a line from Harry Potter on that page?
A VIEW FROM A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ANGLE
Papers that didn’t use that yellow-backed AP picture likely used this one: A photo made by L’Osservatore Romano and also distributed by the Associated Press.
Interestingly, however, several papers that used this picture also chose to run secondary art where you could see the new Pope’s face.
That’s the Cleveland, Ohio, Plain Dealer, circulation 246,571.
Here are two more examples of that same approach…
…from the Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pa. (circulation 70,446) and the Star Ledger of Newark, Pa., (circulation 278,940).
It’s just a coincidence that all three of those papers are Advance publications. I think.
FINDING THAT DIFFERENT PICTURE
A few newspapers managed to find lead art that most papers did not run on page one today.
For example, the New York Times chose this picture by Alessandro Bianchi of Reuters.
The Washington Post went with an over-the-shoulder, wave-at-the-crowd shot, but not the same one we saw a moment ago. this is another handout from L’Osservatore Romano but distributed by Reuters.
Average daily circulation for the Post is 507,615. The Times circulates 1,586,757 papers daily.
Because of the scarcity of variety of art, I’d imagine, what I call “regional twins” popped up all over the place today. This is what I call situations in which two papers with overlapping readership areas end up with similar front-page pictures and headlines.
My favorite example of this: Right here in Southern California. My own paper, the Orange County Register, cropped in tight on that picture you just saw on the front of the New York Times while the Los Angeles Times used a picture by Luca Bruno of the Associated Press. Yet, the pictures were shot from a similar angle. And check out the headlines.
Average daily circulation for the LAT is 616,575. The OCR circulates 280,812.
MOST INTERESTING HEADLINE OF THE DAY
Speaking of headlines, I didn’t see many clever ones today. This one from the 12,387-circulation Pocono Record of Stroudsburg, Pa., struck me as one of the best.
That was written by staffer Tom Ostrosky, I’m told.
BALCONY SHOTS THAT SHOWED MORE BALCONY
A few papers chose pictures that were more loosely-cropped. To show off the pageantry of the event, I’d imagine.
Three of these papers appealed to me a great deal. I liked the orderly, structured feel of the 57,710-circulation Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss.
That photo is from AFP/Getty Images. I’m not sure where this one is from because the designer of today’s Star Press of Muncie, Ind., left off the credit.
Note, however, the way the designer — Catherine Pomiecko from the Louisville Design Studio, I’m told — placed the story and sidebar into that little white square at the bottom of the picture. And then echoed that with a transparent box at the top of the picture to hold the headline.
Average daily circulation for the Star Press is 20,305.
My favorite of these pages, however — and, indeed, my favorite page of the day — is this presentation by the Advocate of Victoria, Texas.
Wow. Now, that’s a poster front.
Advocate editor Chis Cobler tells us:
Presentation editor Kimiko Fieg [designed the page], although we discussed it a lot as a design team.
Average daily circulation for the Advocate is 26,531.
WRAPPIN’ THE POPE
And three papers — that I know of — let their huge Pope photos spill over onto the back page of their papers, creating a huge wrap.
The first two of these suffer from the same problem: While the entire wrap is quite nice, look at what readers are getting with their page-one display:
Yep. The picture of the back of a Cardinal’s head.
When you design page one of a broadsheet, you have to stay mindful of what’s above the fold. Ditto for a tabloid wrap — you have to remember that some readers might only see page one in a news rack or in a convenience store.
That was Hoy, the Spanish-language daily published by the Chicago Tribune. Interestingly, the Sun-Times today had the same issue.
Average daily circulation for the Sun-Times is 422,335. Hoy circulates about 60,000 papers daily.
Here is the only broadsheet wrap I saw today, and you won’t see it at the Newseum. The Beaver County Times of Beaver, Pa., didn’t contribute its front page today.
As the Times‘ Eric Hall explaines:
The newsfolk let the sports editor give it a whirl.
And, sure enough, you see Eric’s approach: This is essentially a photo illustration, with a picture of the pope at the bottom and a huge shot of the crowd as a background.
Note how the Beaver County Times took its nameplate down to tiny size and placed it at the bottom of the page.
A FOCUS ON THE FOLLOWERS
While a few papers managed to show the enormous throng in St. Peter’s Square, this one paper scored points today by focusing on the rapturous look on the face of this woman in Argentina, reveling in the news that the new Pope is from Argentina.
The photo is from Reuters. I wish we knew more of her story. Does she know the new pope? Has she attended any of his services?
Perhaps it’s not important. But as I looked through today’s pages, that one brought me to a full stop. Which is the point, of course. Great job by the 108,548-circulation Boston Herald.
With the exception of Beaver County, all of these front pages are from the Newseum. Of course.