Are Print & Online News Mimicking Each Other?


While attending the annual Ohio Newspaper Association convention, I was excited to get my hands on a physical example of the Cincinnati Enquirer’s upcoming format change. As it updates its printing technology, the Gannett newspaper becomes the second in the nation to switch over to a more compact, harder working three-around format.

Cincinnati Enquirer Editor Carolyn Washburn points out that the new design looks to engage readers and encourage them to go deeper into the pages. And the masthead of the new format sports social media icons to remind everyone of their online presence. Between all of this and the “banner ad” at the bottom of the front page, I couldn’t help but think the new design is taking cues from online news sites.

Trading Looks?
At the same time, online publications seem to be gravitating to a more offline look. Consider screen grabs in this gallery from FastCoDesign, ReadWriteWeb and Mashable. All of them blow out their article layout so there’s more white space. The big headlines are clearly inspired by offline content. Two of these designs don’t even include article copy in the first view.

Do You Like The Looks?
What do you think? Are we imaging the similarities? It’s great to see both mediums continue to evolve … even if they’re trading design elements to a certain degree. Clearly as social media and content annotation continues to evolve, we’ll see even more changes play out.

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David Germano
David Germano

David is the VP of Content Marketing for Empower Media Marketing, and runs Empower's Content Marketing division, Magnetic Content Studios. For more than 14 years, David has been helping brands develop sustained content marketing strategies and operate like media to build their own audiences. David is often speaking on the topic, and is a guest contributor to Content Marketing Institute.