How does the N&E editorial team decide what will appear on the front page of News & Events each issue? Some N&E critics may choose to believe that our stories are tossed onto a flight of stairs, and the ones that land on the first four steps will make the front page. Well, our lead stories aren’t actually selected that way, but truth be told, there are several occasions in which our issues could have a number of potential lead stories. We either have to decide which will appear “above the fold” and make the most impact, or split the page into two halves and run side-by-side lead stories that are equally important. No matter what eventually appears on the front page, the bottom line is to produce a publication—and a catchy front page—that is relevant and appealing to our readers.
In each issue we attempt to run a mix of hard and soft news on the front page. Hard news, such as a multi-million dollar donation or President Simone’s retirement announcement, certainly warrants a prominent place on the front page. In fact, these will probably be our lead, or top, stories because of their importance to the RIT community and their overall appeal to campus and community readers. However, the appearance of soft news stories on the front page, such as an interesting student profile, create a sense of balance and variety. There should be something for everyone on our front pages.
The next issue of News & Events, which hits stands July 20, will reflect exactly this. We’ll be able to show a solid representation of hard and soft news, not only on our front page, but throughout the issue. Take a look—and we ask for your feedback.
I’ve found a pretty good Web page that simply explains a bit about news judgment and what constitutes news. It’s from the Media Awareness Network.