Germany’s Wall Street Journal Adds Page 1 Photos

By October 9, 2007Media Relations

Is there any business-oriented newspaper still sticking the old and proven ways? It was a shock when the Journal abandoned tradition, so we note this item about the Frankfurter Allegemeine, Germany’s equivalent of the Wall Street Journal or Financial Times. The October 3 front page had a story headlined: “Inviting, fresh, easy to read — The new look for this newspaper/Great approval for the layout reform.”

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung is modernizing its appearance and with it following the guidance of a large majority of its readership. Beginning Friday, a photo will appear regularly on page one. Instead of the Germanic script, “Heavy Gothic,” a “Times” font will appear over the commentaries. Longer articles in the inside will be introduced with short summaries. The formerly centered headlines will now be flush left. The lines between news columns will be eliminated.

All these layout changes were tested with focus groups. At least in that respect, same old, same old.

FAZ has run photos before on major occasions, such as when Cardinal Ratzinger became Pope Benedict the XVI. But its look had remained essentially unchanged since 1949, with the founding of West Germany.

Sample front pages and the original story in German are here. And the first photo Friday to appear on page one with the new layout policy? Kim Jong-Il and South Korea’s President Roh Moo-Hyun toasting one another.

No hedcuts like the Journal, though.

UPDATE (3:55 p.m.): The National Post, the other national newspaper in Canada, goes garish with its redesign. Or striking, if you like.

UPDATE (4:45 p.m.) International Herald Tribune on the FAZ’s redesign.

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