Front Page Friday: Salt Lake Tribune

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.

So here it is:

Salt Lake Tribune

This is the front page of the Salt Lake Tribune from Oct. 15, 2010 (via Newseum.org).

The Salt Lake (Utah) Tribune‘s front page from today caught my attention instantly because of its centerpiece picture. It is a tightly cropped image of a man. Only half of his face is showing, which adds a ton of interest. Furthermore, it seems to be an older picture of the man, so it made me want to read what the photo was all about.

I’m glad I did because it is about Mark Hofmann, who is a murderer.

Here’s what the Tribune’s reporter, Christopher Smart, used for his article‘s lede:

Mark Hofmann’s name looms large in Utah history and Mormon lore, castigated as an evil genius and a fraud who deceived his church, his friends and even his wife. But 25 years after the master forger murdered two people with nail bombs and sent Salt Lake City into a panic, he remains an enigma.

I don’t remember ever hearing about this, so it interested me a great deal. Granted, I wasn’t even born yet when this occurred, but I would like to think I would have heard about a psychopath killing people with nail bombs.

It’s fascinating stuff, and the use of that image, now that I know his name and face are more than familiar to the readers of the Tribune, is perfect. The crop gives it a creepy look, as if the subject is hiding something. This notion is further helped by the words “the man, the mystery” below the photo and “an enigma” above the picture.

The typography helps sell the seriousness of the story as well. It isn’t some comical or fun looking font. It’s big and bold, which screams important.

The rest of page looks OK too, but I’m way too focused on the Hofmann piece to even worry about the rest.

This centerpiece package proves that great content will help improve the design. If this story weren’t about a murder or something else so close to the hearts of the Tribune’s readers, it wouldn’t have worked nearly as well, so without great content, design doesn’t matter.

That is a life lesson anyone in the business of journalism or blogging or whatever should learn.

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About toddvogts 756 Articles
My name is Todd Vogts. I am an assistant professor of media. I like the color green, riding my motorcycle, and being with my family and friends. A good book is a perfect companion for me any time, and I'm a published author and journalist. Visit my website at www.toddvogts.com and follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/toddvogts.