Front Page Friday: Virginian-Pilot

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 and picked my favorite.

So here it is:

The Virginian-Pilot

The front page of The Virginian-Pilot from March 5, 2010 (via

Today, this front page really jumped out at me because of its interesting layout.

It is for today’s Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va., and what struck me about this page design was that a story was placed above the flag. Now, I could see doing that for a very important story, but in this particular incident it doesn’t seem merited.

Sure, the story of a person who was getting charged fees from her bank for donations she made to Haiti relief is interesting, perhaps even unique, but is it earth-shattering enough to be put above the flag? I don’t think so.

Maybe this is a standard practice for The Pilot, but I’m not sure I like it. Such a treatment could work with a tabloid-sized paper, but The Pilot is a broadsheet. It doesn’t work.

And don’t even get me started on The Pilot using a posed shot for the art of this story above the flag. It is horrible! I hate staged pictures, especially when they are given more dominance than they merit.

The one thing I do like about that story above the flag is the text. It is handled in a magazine style with paragraph symbols marking where new paragraphs would go. This prevents extra room for paragraph returns from being taken up and throwing off the rectangular design of that package.

The page’s centerpiece package was interesting too. It is just a bunch of teasers, but I would have read them and dove deeper into the paper to learn more.

Over all, buying today’s Virginian-Pilot would have been “worth every penny,” despite the oddity of that top package.

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share
About toddvogts 819 Articles
Todd R. Vogts, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of media at Sterling College in Kansas. Previously, he taught yearbook, newspaper, newsmagazine, and online journalism in various Kansas high schools, and he ran a weekly newspaper in rural Kansas. He continues to freelance as a professional journalist from time to time. Also, Vogts is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the Journalism Education Association (JEA), and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), among others. He earned his Master Journalism Educator (MJE) certification from JEA in 2022. When he’s not teaching or writing, he runs his mobile disk jockey service and takes part in other entrepreneurial ventures. He can be reached at or via his website at