It is that time of the week again. It is time to look at my favorite newspaper front page of the week.
As always, I culled through the front pages shown at Newseum.org and picked my favorite.
This week is a little different, though. I’m not just going to talk about one front page. I’m going to focus on two.
So here they are:
The Record and Herald News
Two front pages today.
Why? Well, look at them.
Can you see how similar these two front pages are? The main illustration on each page is the same. The author of the centerpiece story is identical.
Also, the story in the right hand column for both papers is the same, and the bottom story for both papers are the same, too, except that the photographs for the bottom stories, though identical, are in different placements.
This isn’t normal. In fact, it was so clear that the publications were just a regurgitation of each other, it jumped out at me as I scrolled through the front pages listed at Newseum.org.
I had to look into it further, so I went to the Web site listed on both publications: NorthJersey.com.
There I found out the two publications were published by North Jersey Media Group. OK. So they are sister publications.
The thing that puzzled me the most, though, was that a description of the two papers said, “Editorially, the papers have different personalities, but they combine their resources to deliver outstanding news coverage for readers and unmatched market reach for retail, national, and classified advertisers.”
Is using the exact same content for both papers equal different editorial personalities?
I don’t think so.
Sure, combining resources is a good idea during these difficult times the newspaper industry is facing; however, the least these two papers could do is vary the front page designs a bit, and that means more than just changing the wording of a couple headlines and having different teasers across the top and down the side.