Front Page Friday: The Trentonian

It is that time of the week again. I combed through the pages at looking for something that jumped out at me. And I found several. However, one stood out above the crowd.

The Trentonian

This is the front page of The (NJ) Trentonian published on Feb. 24, 2012.

The front page of The Trentonian, the newspaper of Trenton, New Jersey, grabbed me because of its clever headline in the center package.

Do you see it? It says, “Gas Pains.”

That’s funny. Without the picture, one might think the story is about people being gassy and bloated.

However, the picture makes it obvious the story is about the skyrocketing gasoline prices. Sure, the photo is pretty boring, but combined with the headline, it draws attention.

Sure, the gas prices in New Jersey might not be the same as those here in Kansas, but it is a national story. Oil prices are going up, and that means the amount everyone pays at the pump is too. Analysts predict this summer to be absolutely brutal. I’m going to be hoping for little wind so I can ride my motorcycle more to help defray the pain at the pump.

The story refers down the left-hand page are pretty mundane, and the flag is what it is. As I’ve said before, I like tabloid-sized newspapers. The square design of them makes for more interesting uses of the space, I think.

However, that isn’t all that I liked about The Trentonian. You see that little black-and-white box in the lower, right-hand corner of the page? That’s a QR Code, which stands for Quick Response Code. It is similar to a standard bar code in that digital readers can scan it and information will be presented. The cool thing about QR Codes are that they can hold even more information. They’ve been really popular of late, and The Trentonian capitalized on this.

In this case, scanning the code, which can be done with most cell phones and an application, took the reader to the website and allowed them to leave their thoughts on the gas prices. This is a great way to get readers involved. I love it! Getting print readers engaged with the online component is something more newspapers need to do. The print and online versions need to work together, not fight against each other. The Trentonian did a great job at trying to bridge that gap.

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About toddvogts 830 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