Power of the Press

The front page of The Guardian joins the world’s best Page Ones ina mu­seum ded­i­cated to the power of news

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY JIM DAY jday@the­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/GuardianJimDay

Our front page is now his­tory. We have be­come a part of an im­pres­sive daily col­lec­tive gath­er­ing of Page One news for pos­ter­ity.

Our front pages are now stand­ing along­side the world’s best inthe New­seum, a dy­namic, en­gag­ing and in­ter­ac­tive mu­seum in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., that al­lows vis­i­tors to ex­pe­ri­ence the sto­ries of yes­ter­day and to­day through the eyes of the me­dia while cel­e­brat­ing guar­an­teed free­doms.

Through a spe­cial agree­ment with more than 2,000 news­pa­pers world­wide, from the New York Times to The Globe and Mail to our — and your — very own pa­per, the New­seum dis­plays th­ese front pages each day on its web­site.

Roughly one mil­lion vis­i­tors per year click on­line to visit th­ese front pages that ap­pear in their orig­i­nal, unedited form. Some, the site cau­tions, may con­tain ma­te­rial that is deemed ob­jec­tion­able to some vis­i­tors.

Last year, per­haps more than ever, many news­pa­pers used their front pages more graph­i­cally and more fre­quently to ruf­fle feath­ers, awaken so­cial con­science and her­ald free speech than ever be­fore.

As Sharon Shahid, on­line man­ag­ing editor at the New­seum noted in a re­cent col­umn, with 2015 be­ing marked by ter­ror­ism, gun vi­o­lence, war refugees and religious free­dom, the press wore its heart on its sleeve by air­ing opin­ions on Page One.

“The Jan.7 ter­ror­ist at­tack on satir­i­cal news­pa­per Char­lie Hebdo’s Paris news­room, which re­sulted inthe deaths of 12 peo­ple, in­clud­ing the pa­per’s ed­i­torin-chief, set the tone for an ad­vo­cacy press that fre­quently used the front page as its soap­box,” she ob­serves.

Shahid adds the 10 news­pa­pers sin­gled out for spe­cial recog­ni­tion by the New­seum in 2015 were no­table for “their emo­tion and bold­ness; the abil­ity to pro­voke sym­pa­thy, joy and out­rage; and an un­fet­tered will­ing­ness to over­step bound­aries.”

Each day, more than 800 daily front pages go up on the New­seum’s web­site. Count us among them. Sonya Ga­vankar, man­ager of pub­lic re­la­tions, is among those charged with se­lect­ing a daily Top 10 List from those hun­dreds of front pages.

So what makes the list th­ese days?

“The tenets of what makes a front page a great front page is some­thing that re­ally grabs the reader and makes them want to pick up the pa­per and read fur­ther,” says Ga­vankar.

That has been the for­mula for many decades. The in­gre­di­ents are just dif­fer­ent to­day.

Graph­ics com­monly grace front pages in def­er­ence to pho­tos.

Ad­ver­tis­ing has found its way onto many Page Ones.

And many ar­ti­cles on­the first page pro­vide links to deeper sto­ries on­line.

Ga­vankar notes smaller dailies, like this one, are putting more fo­cus on lo­cal­iz­ing the big­ger sto­ries, in­clud­ing na­tional and in­ter­na­tional ones.

Read­ers, she be­lieves, still ex­pect a great deal from their news­pa­pers — and their front pages. She notes last year some news­pa­pers did very in­ter­est­ing things with an­niver­saries, for in­stance show­ing what the news­pa­per looked like 50 and 100 years ago, serv­ing as a good re­minder that the printed pa­per is still kick­ing and giv­ing peo­ple the in­for­ma­tion they need.

“I would hope that read­ers would ac­tu­ally re­mind them­selves of what they feel when they read a news­pa­per,” says Ga­vankar.

“Read­ers need to be re­minded of the im­por­tance of news­pa­pers.”

Front page news is of­ten not news at all to any­one th­ese days, notes Paul Knox, a for­mer Globe and Mail reporter who re­cently re­tired from teach­ing jour­nal­ism at Ry­er­son Univer­sity.

But, it sure can still be a very good read, per­haps evena bet­ter one than inthe past.

“Now there is more of the sense that news­pa­pers are not in the busi­ness of break­ing the news but in­ter­pret­ing news by putting their own in­ter­est­ing take on some­thing that peo­ple al­ready know about,” he says.

Greater em­pha­sis is placed on cre­ative vi­su­als and strong, colour­ful writ­ing to draw in read­ers, he ex­plains.

Or, as Knox put­sit: “Putting a re­ally dis­tinc­tive twist on run­ning sto­ries.”

For many, he adds, read­ing a news­pa­per — and those front page sto­ries — bought at the stand or plucked out of the mail box still holds ap­peal to­many.

“It’s the only phys­i­cal prod­uct that you have that is kind of about your town,” he says.


Sharon Shahid, on­line man­ag­ing editor at the New­seum in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. writes that 2015, marked by ter­ror­ism, gun vi­o­lence, war refugees and religious free­dom, could long be re­mem­bered as “the year the press wore its heart on its sleeve.” This is a look at the ex­te­rior of the New­seum in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. The New­seum’s mis­sion is to cham­pion the five free­doms of the First Amend­ment through ex­hibits, pub­lic pro­grams and education. Pages of this news­pa­per are now be­ing fea­tured in the New­seum. See more at: http://www.new­seum.org/about/#sthash.tBpj2iil.dpuf


Vis­i­tors to the New­seum in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. read the front pages of news­pa­pers from around the world. Now they can read the front pages of this news­pa­per.


Sonya Ga­vankar, man­ager of pub­lic re­la­tions with the New­seum, is among those at this in­ter­ac­tive me­dia mu­seum who se­lect the daily Top 10 front pages.

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