The Los Angeles Times Field Notes #1: Space


The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper. It’s a broadsheet publication, measuring 11⅛  inches by 22⅞ inches, with an average of 34 pages for weekday coverage during weekdays. Sunday papers are larger, with an average of 86 pages. The Los Angeles Times is impressively hefty for a daily paper, but this makes sense considering it’s the largest daily paper in the country in terms of both print and digital readership. According to The Los Angeles Times’ website, the paper sees a daily print readership of 1.3 million and 2 million on Sunday. Considering this significant readership, it’s understandable how easily The Los Angeles Times can fill 34-86 pages of content. It appears The Los Angeles Times sells a fair amount of advertisements, a sign of a healthy business model.


Layout and white space

In Monday’s paper (Jan. 20, 2020) there’s an average of 3 stories per page. About half of the stories on each page are accompanied by a photo. More feature-y stories stand alone on the page with huge photos, including the Screen Actors Guild Awards coverage. This technique is effective, as the feature stories have some of the strongest visuals in the paper today. There’s no significant use of white space in this issue, and the design seems fairly tight/squished throughout. It’s clear that The Los Angeles Times aims to fit as much news as they can each day.


Other thoughts

The hierarchy of Monday’s front page is extremely confusing. I can’t tell which of the three stories above the fold The Los Angeles Times wants us to look at, because the top right rail has a bolded headline, while the top left rail doesn’t. Additionally, I think The Los Angeles Times should use more fact boxes and pull quotes to break up huge chunks of text. For example, the business section top story has 5 columns of straight text with nothing to break it up. This makes the page look clunky and less inviting, as more elitist/academic publications are often designed with a ton of text and nothing to break up the words.