Field Notes- Los Angeles Times_Words

The Los Angeles Times seems to be VERY comfortable with the summary type of headlines. The words aren’t exactly cheeky or intriguing, they tell say enough about a story to allow a reader to decide if he/she wants to continue reading. Headlines usually stand alone though, the presence of a headline is enough to summarize the core of the story. There are exceptions in the Sport sections where the headlines get slightly comical and don’t necessarily give insight into what the story is about. Subheads and decks follow in similar fashion with no-nonsense summaries. The tone of the word choice is straight-forward, the words clearly explain the topic.

Pull-quotes are hardly every used in the LA Times. I guess the publication wants to maintain the idea that the body copy is strong as is. When they are used they are pretty straightforward.

Cutlines and captions act as stand-alones to accompany the photograph. These give a brief detail of information that can also be read within the body copy. They vary from one-liners to as much as two or three sentences.

Section heads are all simply named, easily recognizable and occasionally color-coded. These sections like Business and Calendar sections are always set in very large sizes ( as big as the A1 nameplate) and sometimes take on different colors. I figured that since all the feature sections aren’t always colored it may be because the stories for that section may not be that significant for that days paper.

All bylines and credit lines have the name of the person being credited standing- alone with no “by” to distinguish to whom to the story belongs to. There usually is a location from the where the journalist was reporting from, but this is not always presented. I like this way because the reader can easily see who the story was written by.

Refers are short and conversational. This is a good way to draw in readers with small bite-sized amounts of information that’s affects the masses. These mass issues are more relatable and therefore more likely to make a reader willing to go to the jump page.

The LA Times isn’t a show dog trying to woo its audience with lots of “bells and whistles”. Readers get a news that is informative and reliable. Period.