The power of newspaper front pages never grows old

Sometimes a newspaper front page nails the mood of a nation so completely, us other editors go slightly green with envy.

By Nicola Adam
Friday, 5th April 2019, 12:10 pm
Updated Friday, 5th April 2019, 12:14 pm
The Herald's striking front page
The Herald's striking front page

A newspaper splash is a point in time moment - it’s not something that can be replicated entirely online.

The rise and rise of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) means online headlines are skewed to fit in with search terms - rather than using faultless and emotive prose to make an impact from the newstand.

A web headline is generally literal and not prosaic and does a different job.

And the Herald newspaper’s front page this week - although wordy in the extreme - is remarkable.

Using the famous poetic nuances of the opening scene of Trainspotting, the Scottish title nails the frustration over Brexit inaction perfectly.

‘Choose Leave, Choose Remain, Choose delay - and ending Choose something’ is cathartic in its honesty, entirely unbiased and utterly compelling. They nailed it with words and few images.

The words painted a picture that resonates not just in Scotland but across the UK.

Of course it’s not to say social media cannot be powerful too, but I do feel sad that the generation who no longer buy newspapers will not experience that feeling of power on a page.

Seeing something in print is just different - and as a massive advocate of digital journalism and social media I do not say that lightly.

Even those who gain all their daily news, information and social interaction from social would consider buying a newspaper with their child featured or their business. The thing about print - and obviously I would say this as a newspaper editor in a digital age - it’s tangible.

The printed word will never entirely vanish while it still wields this power.

But with diminishing print across the world, sadly, the headline-makers are also vanishing.

I will always be proud to work in the newsroom that produced the headline Llama Drama Ding Dong- you’d read it, right?

Sadly I’m pretty sure it’s not SEO-friendly.

So with the country in chaos and uncertainty practically the only certainty - choose life, choose social but choose print too.