Front Page Friday: Tampa Bay Times

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:

Tampa Bay Times

This is the front page of the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times from Oct. 21, 2010 (via http://newseum.org).

This week, I don’t have something nice to say. Instead, I’m calling the design out as being lazy.

The front page of Thursday’s Tampa Bay Times, a free publication in the Florida town, usually looks OK. This week is no different. It looks OK.

Until you look closer at the centerpiece art.

That photo illustration is very simple. There’s nothing wrong with that. What is a problem is where the image came from.

If you look closely at the photo credit, it says the image came from istockphoto.com.

Really?

All the image consists of is a hand writing a check in a checkbook. How are hard would it have been to just set up that shot in the newsroom and be done with it in less than five minutes?

This is lazy designing. With a little effort, a similar, and probably better, photo illustration could have been created. Instead, they went and purchased an image from the istockphoto.com service, basically taking away from the job of a resident photographer and designer.

Wow.

Seeing this kind of creativity, or lack there of, makes me very sad.

Newspapers are in enough of a financial crunch. Being lazy about what they’re doing won’t help things at all.

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About toddvogts 807 Articles
Todd R. Vogts, MJE, 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 and the Journalism Education Association, among others. 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 twitter.com/toddvogts or via his website at www.toddvogts.com.