A big story and a photo-heavy centerpiece are notable elements on the front page of today's Independent.
The top story by staffer Matthew Rink updates readers on a former local cop who is involved in an investigation by the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation over an alleged relationship with a superior, a county sheriff.
Why is this big news? Well, in 2009, she was fired for "conduct unbecoming of an officer" for having a romantic relationship with her then-boss, the police chief. That story was big a few years ago because she and the chief were caught by the chief's squad car dashboard video camera. That video went viral, one story said.
Here's how The Repository played the story back in July 2009, which garnered front-page honors for the day back then:
Back to The Independent's front page, the cop story was given a huge, 5-column, all-caps headline. It's wordy headline, but it needed to be, it seems. But the physical size of the headline at two decks completely overpowers the space when comparing the real estate given to the headlie and that given to the story itself. If it warrants a headline that size, be sur to the package below the headline matches the weight. Perhaps a screen shot of the 2009 video could have added some depth to the package.
Elsewhere, the centerpiece story by staff writer Erin Pustay on the outlook of local Catholic schools gets a nice treatment with the three vertical portraits. The visuals add impact to the package, as does the large second deck of the headline.
I think, though, that the centerpiece headline competes for attention with the cop headline. Much like choosing a dominant photo for a front page, be sure to choose a dominant headline. Too much visual competition with headlines can be confusing to readers.
Nice cutout of the pitcher at lower left.
Joe Greco is corporate design director for GateHouse Media.
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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