How to think like a Journalist: Above the Cut I

It feels good having an article above the cut.

In newspeak, being above the cut means having a story be the lead front-page story.

When newspapers are folded, the front-page story will appearing newsstands as the first thing shoppers see. To pick up and actually buy the newspaper, sometimes depends on the urgency or interest in the lead story.

Some lead stories were inaccurate as when the Chicago Daily Tribune wrote in their headline that Dewey defeated Truman in the 1948 presidential elections.

“Dewey Defeats Truman” was an incorrect banner headline on the front page of the Chicago Daily Tribune on November 3, 1948, the day after incumbent United States President Harry S. Truman won an upset victory over Republican challenger and Governor of New York Thomas E. Dewey in the 1948 presidential election.

Others will be ever memorably tragic such as when every newspaper’s front-page headlines told about 9/11 and the bodies falling from the towers.

In advertising, the placement of an ad as well as its size is important in how the viewer sees it.

Could it be buried on page 3? Could it be located on the back? Could it be in classifieds? Brrr! The Dread!

The importance of location in a publication whether it is in print or online cannot be stressed more.

When looking at text on a screen – mobile or otherwise – the first thing that the viewer sees is the front-page story. If they have to scroll to see your stories, it may not be the best location for it.

How does a story become a front-page lead story? What should someone do to get the best results in their stories location? Find out on Monday Dec. 17 for an answer. To be continued.