These themes are communicated through three basic categories that make up a newspaper's front page; the layout, the stories, and the aim of the advertising of those stories. The front pages that I have chosen to analyze show three different aims for their region of emphasis; the New York Post, Hartford Courant, and Boston Globe.
The first aspect of each front page that I noticed was the layout, and it is obvious that the Post takes a drastically different course than the other two. Their arrangement has one story with a very large color picture and even larger white lettering than the picture. There are no links to any other stories elsewhere in the paper except the feature story however on the first page in there is a more traditional front page layout. But there is also a reason that this front page should be visible on the outside and it relates to the aim of the paper.
It is obvious that the Post wishes to grab its readers' attention with this type of layout. The Courant and the Globe have a similar layout with a large color picture in the upper center and a smaller graphic or picture in the lower right. The Globe has a column on the left side that provides links to about ten stories elsewhere in the paper and both have a horizontal column on the very top that also serves this function, but with fewer links. It is obvious that these two papers do value the content of their stories and many of their readers do not have to be grabbed but already have subscriptions.
The specific stories deal much more in detail with the region of emphasis of each paper. The Post seems to bank on the sensational nature of its featured story; Britney Spears losing custody of her children. It is hardly relevant to our everyday lives or our lives at all but it does interest a large portion of the reading population, and that interest is what sells papers. Their region of emphasis is New York City and the working crowd whose attention must be grabbed on the way to work. This phenomenon is explained in the book "Making Local News"; "The most common explanation of how economic considerations affect news coverage is that news is selected and presented not so much for its importance as for its ability to entertain.
In their attempt to sell newspapers or raise ratings, the news media are said to give greater prominence to stories that elicit emotion than to those that inform" (Kaniss, 46-47). The Courant and the Globe feature stories that are more relative to their regions of emphasis. The Courant highlights Yale University protests against military recruitment on campus as well as against the "don't ask don't tell" policy of the military towards homosexuals. They also have a smaller "nation/world" section on the lower left of the front page, as most stories emphasize their coverage of the Connecticut area.
Kaniss again makes an important point on similar newspapers; "Newspapers whose audiences are better educated and more affluent use more dispassionate language in their headlines and stories and give greater prominence to government versus crime stories than do newspapers that appeal to a middle- or working-class audience" (Kaniss, 49) The Globe features a story on the red sox preparing for the playoffs highlighting a pep really by the fans. This emphasizes the New England regional aim for this paper, while most of the other stories featured are of a national nature; since they are a more widely bought…