Minnesota caucus coverage
I enjoyed the centerpiece package the Star-Tribune did for multiple reasons. The main headline dominates the page; it immediately grabs your attention, and it is well written. The three-column design below the main photo is organized well. The rail down the middle with the photo of Ron Paul is informative and organized. It tells me all the main information I need to know about Tuesday’s primaries/caucuses, in Minnesota and across the country.
One problem with the centerpiece package is the main story doesn’t have a deck. We’re just supposed to know that it is the story that goes with the headline above the photo. I’d like to see a t-deck there. Another small problem is the lack of space between the two stories and rail in the centerpiece and the “For the latest from the caucuses…” More white space would help that tease to online stand out a little better.
Otherwise, a pretty standard page. The downpage photo is put in a good place to help bring some color to the right side of the page. Personally, I don’t mind side-saddle floorboards (in this case, I guess a wallboard).
St. Paul Pioneer Press
The Pioneer Press took a different approach to the front page. I don’t like the lead photo at all. The headline speaks about Santorum, but the photo is just of an American flag in front of a crowded auditorium. However, I do like that they put the percentages on top, leading with Santorum bolded with the other candidates faded out.
Five stories on the front is too crowded, especially with big news like the caucus results. With the four non-centerpiece headlines, I can’t tell which one is bigger than the other. They seem to look exactly the same. I don’t know where to look after the centerpiece. The photo draws me downpage to the dolphin story, while the placement draws me to the nuclear plant story up top.
The skybox is a bit clunky, overall, but that’s just the template and my personal preference. Having a coupon above the fold on the front page is really tacky.