Since posting my previous critiques, I’ve been thinking about what I should critique because I wanted my last critiques to be meaningful. And I thought it would be interesting to blog about the Missouri community newspapers that I visited this semester for my community newspaper class.
The first newspaper is Washington Missourian, which is the Franklin County paper based in Washington, Missouri. The paper is owned by the Missourian Publishing Company, a family-owned company. I think it’s a very nicely designed page that gives a local flavor. The problems that I have with this page is the focus of the page and the design of the nameplate and flag. Although I understand that the use of cropped images was necessary and it’s been done for while, I think it’s kind of overdone. To me, those cropped images even made the flag hard to recognize. In addition, I think it would’ve been better if the typeface of the nameplate was a little lighter. Secondly, I’m not really sure about hierarchy of the page. Even though that lead story, “Races for Council, City Judge,” has the biggest headline, it is still hard to see which story I should look at first because there is a story on the top and another story on the left with the biggest photo.
The second is Unterrified Democrat, a bi-weekly newspaper that serves Osage County. There is a funny story behind why they got the name Unterrified Democrat even though they are firm Republicans, but I’ll go straight to the critique. I like the clean and nice-looking flag and nameplate. The thing that bothers me, though, is the eight-grid column module, which makes the text a little crowded. In addition, I think it really needs some structure or style that separates stories, maybe a line that separates each story. Unless you start reading from the very left, it’s hard to just jump into the story that you want to read because it’s hard to find where the story begins.
Given that those two newspapers have a lot less budget and circulation than our Missourian, I think the little details that I pointed out might sound even a bit too arrogant. Maybe this kind of less refined quality is what makes a community newspaper look like a community newspaper.
(Apologies for the non-scanned images; I don’t own a big scanner)