Worrying about what’s “above the fold” on a newspaper page seems antiquated in an age of digital media. But it still matters sometimes. Here’s an example.
The Sunday edition of The News & Observer included a section of news about the Raleigh area and the state as a whole. The story at the top of the page is about a job fair aimed at luring N.C. teachers to come to Houston, where they would be better paid. The story below that one is about a street festival in Cary.
Here’s how the full page appeared:
My brunch companion, however, saw only the top half of the page, like so:
Her reaction: “I thought those were the teachers in the picture. They sure seem happy with the idea of moving to Houston.”
That confusion is understandable — and easy to avoid. The page designer could put a kicker or even the main headline above the photo. That would create a more obvious visual divide between the stories. A thin line, as used on the N&O page, is too subtle to do that.