|Due to an errant program he was running, developer Phillip Mendonca-Vieira found that he had collected 12,000 screenshots of the New York Times taken between September 2010 to July 2011. Mendonca-Vieira makes the point that frint page layouts are rarely stored any more so famous images such as President-elect Harry Truman holding up a copy of The Chicago Daily Tribune with the headlines “Dewey Defeats Truman” may no longer be possible.
That said, his time-lapse video is a reminder of just how uniform digital newspaper need to be. Whereas the front page of print newspapers is often driven by photography – whether it’s a single significant image, or an image and headline that nails a big story with a text/image idea – the only concession of the website to major news is the change of image shape. Stories such as the Chilean Miners and Arab Spring get a landscape slideshow on the front page as opposed to being square.
While the web version of The Guardian in London for example, often colonizes the top of its page with a whole set of features around a single story, it’s clear we are in a transition moment for digital newspapers.
The evolution of the iPad is likely to restore the weighting of the photograph in layouts. Art directors and designers will use it to dramatically enhance the narrative possibilities of photographic sequences.
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