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English Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Static Images: The Front Page of a Daily Newspaper

Just as there are conventions about how we spell, punctuate, or lay out a formal letter, so there are established conventions about how the front page of a daily newspaper is presented.

These conventions include:

  • the font and style of the masthead, which flies the flag for the newspaper
  • the use and impact of headlines and crossheads, which are subheadings between paragraphs
  • the placement of the lead story
  • the acknowledgment of reporters' names (known as bylines) and of other sources, along with the dateline
  • the use of photos with their explanatory captions
  • the use of diagrams, tables, and other infographics, which summarise information into visual form
  • the use of columns, boxes, stories going across the page
  • the variety in presentation of type, including reversed type of white on black; the use of space, including white space, and other aspects of layout and presentation, which are explained in sections that follow.

 Each feature of the front page has a term, including the solus ad, which is the only display advertisement carried on the front page, and the pointer, which points the reader to the rest of the story on another page.

Consider the layout, and the ways that the verbal and visual features are combined to convey meaning and communicate ideas, feelings, and information, on the front page of a daily newspaper like The Press.

It is informative for students to compare one front page with that of a different daily newspaper and with the front page of a newspaper published in the past. Students may then appreciate the interrelationships of verbal and non-verbal features and the opportunities that changing technologies provide for manipulating layouts. They may also wish to explore layouts that may be used in the future.

Summary of Terms

conventions placement infographics
masthead bylines boxes
headlines dateline solus ad
crossheads captions pointer

Exploring language content page

Published on: 07 May 2009