Advertising on the Front Page?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Page designers, editors and even reporters are grudgingly gaining acceptance of page-one advertisements. For years unfashionable, advertisements are slowly making their way to the front page.

In the past, they snaked across the bottom of the page as a column strip or they have graced the page in right-corner boxes. Increasing in size, changing in color and shape, they are slowly creeping to a front page near you.

Many journalists believe this tragic, distasteful event violates the true meaning of news and journalism. Their is a fine line and a sacred wall between news and business. Many feel they scramble to flow and order of the page. In an ear of decreasing newsholes, journalists feel they eat up space otherwise devoted to stories.

The San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and many other Gannett papers have published front page advertisements for years. Page-one ads net premium prices and drive revenue. Somes papers such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe have dabbled in ads on section fronts but have kept page one off-limits. Some of the larger papers which debut front page ads feel that this is just an evolution of multimedia news.

As more and more papers dive into this taboo trend, the designers are working to minimize how distracting they may appear. Opinions about page-one advertising continue to surface at a constant pace. Some believe that if the ads are guided by taste, they are acceptable. While others feel this is a sign of painful ecomonic times for newspapers.

As long as newspapers continue to deliver the latest relevant news, and put better stories on the top of the front page, who cares what you put in an ad at the bottom of the page?


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