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Monday, September 19, 2005

Revisiting the golden days of newspaper graphics

Jack Shafer at Slate looks back a century to the age of Joseph Pulitzer, the broadest of broadsheets and full pages of colorful graphics. He tells the story of novelist Nicholson Baker who, after hearing that the British library was getting rid of its early-20th century collection of Pulitzer's paper New York World in the 1990s, saved the series and published a book, "The World on Sunday: Graphic Art in Joseph Pulitzer's Newspaper (1898-1911)." From headlines that ran across every column to the comic pages, "The World was crafted to be unpacked, savored, and saved. It encouraged readers to 'waste' time reading and rejected the notion that the newspaper experience should be a quickie that catapults you into a busy day." When comparing the captures of The World in Shafer's article with today's papers which are getting smaller and smaller, the way the role of the newspaper has changed from a time when there was no other competing media is strikingly obvious. But Shafer insists that we can still learn from the designs of yesteryear, closing with an anecdote about how he once browsed the archives of the old Washington Star looking for a bit of editorial advice.

Source: Slate

Posted by john burke on September 19, 2005 at 01:47 PM | Permalink

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