Feb 7 HuffPo Front Page: Stimulus Bill Compromise Story
As part of my media study on the Financial Crisis, I looked at four front pages to see how the graphics and headlines played the story of the Stimulus Compromise on February 7th. Because I see this as being the big story of the week, with anticipation continuing until the bill passes, I wanted to compare and contrast both the graphics and the headlines from four media: the NYTimes, WaPo, HuffPo and Drudge. I used the printed front page for the old tangible media outlets of WaPo and NYTimes as they come from a tradition of using photo illustrations with professional photographs taken as news illustrations of the story, a long standing tradition. The new media online outlets of HuffPo and Drudge do not come from this print tradition so they don't pay for top photojournalist coverage but must come up with alternative ways to illustrate their headlines. In this case NYTimes and WaPo used photos and HuffPo and Drudge used graphics. NYTimes, HuffPo and Drudge used the illustration/photo to depict opposites or two sides. WaPo's photo depicts a trio in the halls of Congress making an announcement.
The story was the lead story with top of the page headlines in all four newsmedia. WaPo and NYTimes subscribe to the old style of caps and lowercase for headlines. The new media outlets of Drudge and HuffPo use all caps for the lead story, with the headlines centered beneath the graphic. Online headlines were shorter for WaPo and NYTimes as compared to their print version. In the WaPo and NYTimes, the top photo online was not connected to the Stimulus story but reflected another top story. The photos on the print front page versions accompanied the story on the linked page of both NYTimes and WaPo.
NYTimes: As Jobs Vanish, Senetors Reach Deal on Stimulus (print)
Senators Reach Accord on Stimulus Plan as Jobs Vanish (online)
WaPo: Bipartisan Deal Eases Way For Stimulus Bill in Senate (print)
Compromise Eases Way For Stimulus in Senate (online)
Drudge: STIMULUS DEAL REACHED: $780-827,000,000,000.00
For this graphic, HuffPo uses the symbols of the two parties placed facing opposite directions, with the democrat donkey looming huge as compared to the GOP's elephant. The graphic fits the headline and in reading left-to-right, placing the most important story element in the left position, as most people read, the donkey comes first as the lead character in the story.
Full links to all front page screenshots and stories are in my blog post Which Graphic Says It Best? Stimulus Bill Compromise in Media...